With the whirlwind of holiday travel and holiday meals behind us, you may find yourself realizing that we are now firmly in the middle of winter. Even if you’re an ironman(woman), and you have everything you need to stay warm during the season, now would be a good time to also prepare your household for winter. If you’re wondering where you should start, we prepared an initial checklist to make sure that you’re ready for whatever winter brings your way.

Change Your Irrigation Routine

When it comes to irrigation, many of us tend to “set it and forget it”. However, every winter, you will need to modify your irrigation system’s schedule. Because of cooler temperatures and the occasional rain, plants will need less water. In other words, you should reduce (or even eliminate) the amount of water coming through your irrigation system in the winter. How do you go about this?

  • Turn off your irrigation system as soon as the rainy season begins. Because the winter season is when many plants are in slow growth or outright dormant, not us much water is needed
  • Mulch is a great material to slow down moisture loss in soil. And as a bonus, mulch also allows you to protect your plant roots from frost!

If you need help figuring out the best way to set up your irrigation system during the winter, your largest local city or county tends to update their weather reports weekly as well as give advice for irrigation activities that gives more specific guidance on how to set up your  system for the winter and beyond.

Protect Your Pipes

When pipes freeze, bad things happen. While it’s rare in our area of California for temperatures to reach freezing conditions, protecting your pipes should still be a part of your winter protection plan. Be sure to insulate your pipes with backflow device blankets picked up from your local Friedman’s store as part of your preparation. If your budget isn’t able to accommodate backflow device blankets, old towels, old blankets, or even burlap can help as well. Just make sure to cover the materials with plastic to keep them dry.

Before doing all of this, it’s always best to know where your pipes run as it relates to your yard, your fields, and your home. If you need help finding them, Friedman’s team can help you with that.

Cover Your Plants

If you are still growing through the winter season even though temperatures won’t always get below freezing, protecting your plants from frost should still be a priority. After all, you can fix pipes. You can’t necessarily “fix” a plant that has been killed or burned by frost.

Luckily, protecting your plants is pretty simple – just surround them with burlap or other frost protection products and you should be good to go for the winter season.

These tips are meant to just get you started. There are plenty of other ways you can protect your household for winter. If you need help, don’t hesitate to stop by a Friedman’s store, where one of our friendly experts can help you adjust for the winter season as much as possible. If you have any more tips that we may have missed, feel free to tweet us or head to our Facebook page!