Arrival of cold air means it’s time to prepare your outdoor spaces for winter


ST. CHARLES, Mo. – Improving outdoor spaces has proved a popular pandemic project.

“Everybody is making their outdoor spaces bigger. From patios, outdoor elements, fireplaces, fire pits,” says Nikki Jensen with World Outdoor Emporium in St. Charles.

Winter cold, snow, and ice can wreak havoc on patios spaces we’ve worked hard to perfect. With cold air settling in it is time to put those spaces into hibernation. Cover or store outdoor furniture and protect planters.

“Your planters, you just want to make sure they are well-drained. And you need to elevate any planter you have that’s on the ground. If the pot isn’t being used, you want to flip it over or put it in the garage,” Jensen says.

Same goes for your favorite birdbath.

“Birdbaths you want to flip the top over, make sure it is stabilized. Or you can always look into getting a birdbath heater.”

Be sure to drain any fountains and clean and store the pump. And do not leave hoses outside. They will freeze.

“So make sure you undo them from the house and put them in the garage,” reminds Jensen.

One thing you can do this time of year is plant things.

“Trees and shrubs…It’s actually the best time to plant right now any trees, shrubs, perennials…they love the fall.”

While you are busy cleaning up the outside, you also want to keep the outside from coming in. Your warm house is a beacon for spiders, stink bugs, mice, and other creatures.

“They’re looking for someplace to overwinter and they feel that heat coming off of the house when you turn your furnace on. And they try to move in,” says Ed Mulkey with Rottler Pest Solutions. “So, if there are any gaps there they’ll definitely try to get in.”

Rottler reminds you to inspect the outside of your home for access points, such as broken vent covers, loose siding, or window gaps, and seal those up.

“You can use caulk. There is insulation foam you can purchase. You can use steel wool. You can use…this is a copper mesh that you can seal the hole with, especially around the air conditioning unit.”

Speaking of pests, Nikki Jensen with World Outdoor Emporium reminds you to spray your outdoor plants for bugs before you bring them inside for the winter.

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