Get your yard ready for winter, weekend temps to hit near freezing

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By Lindy Thackston

INDIANAPOLIS - Harsh winter weather can tear up Hoosier's yards. Temperatures could hit close to freezing this weekend.

Landscaping experts say it's time to start preparing for the cold temperatures and snow, and you can use the falling leaves to your advantage.

Andrew Riester, landscape designer for the Brickman Group, says you should mow over the leaves in your yard because it gives the yard extra nutrients. If you don't want to move over them, you should bag them.

Get rid of all the sticks from your yard, garden and bushes.

When you do your final mow, which will probably be in November, cut the grass shorter than you usually do and fertilize.

If you want to leave grasses or some perennials, Riester says that should be fine, but annual flowers need to be taken down and you should start cutting back your plant material.

Riester says what might surprise you is that the approaching winter is actually a good time to do some specific planting.

"It's a great time to plant trees and shrubs," said Riester. "Not only is it healthy for the plants because they're dormant right now, they don't get as much shock, but you can also get good deals at nurseries to start putting those in the ground."

"If you are concerned about some of your shrubs or evergreen shrubs throughout the winter, you may want to wrap your shrubs with burlap and that helps prevent them from splitting out."

Riester says if you have some annual flowers in your flower bed that you'd like to keep for a couple more weeks, be sure to cover them with a sheet or blanket.

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