a cardinal on a tree limb

Winter Bird Feeding 101

By | Bird Feeders, Winterization | No Comments

This is a re-post from much earlier, but we updated some of the information. We love birds at Olympic Lawn, and think that birdwatching is a very rewarding hobby. Here are some tips on winter bird feeding. 

There is nothing better than a lazy Sunday on the porch watching the robins and blue jays eat from the bird feeder. But when that cold weather hits, it is time to protect our winged friends winterize the bird feeders.

Read More

Why You Need to Water Your Trees Now

By | Watering, Winter Lawn Care Tips, Winterization | No Comments

We’ve had a dry autumn so far. Your trees and shrubs will be dry headed into winter. Watering them will be necessary, and here’s how. (Hint: it’s not with a sprinkler.)Large Evergreen Trees

An Abnormally Dry Fall

Kansas City has been abnormally dry this fall — the National Weather Service posted that this September was the eighth driest on record. It’s been a drastic change from our super-wet summer. This winter may be dry, just like our autumn.

Soil Moisture Is Key

Plants need water, and good soil moisture is paramount to surviving any winter conditions that may come our way. June of 2015 was extremely rainy, but by August, many evergreen trees started to die off. (By the way, plants do need moisture even when they lie dormant for the winter.) The best way to soak a tree is to turn a water hose on a slow trickle and let it run in three or four different spots for about 15-20 minutes each. Younger trees will need 10 to 15 gallons of water soaking slowly in the soil for each year it’s been in the ground.

Soak Your Evergreens First, Then Move on to Deciduous Trees.

After you soak your evergreens, then turn your attention to younger shrubs and deciduous trees. If you thoroughly soak the soil, you shouldn’t need to water again for about 4-6 weeks.

Don’t Fall Into an “Out of Sight, Out of Mind” Mentality.

A winter drought can make it easy to forget about your precious trees. We don’t think about how well our plants are doing until later — usually when spring is nearing. Spring or summer could mean it’s much too late for your trees. Don’t be someone throwing his or her hands up in bewilderment at a dead spruce tree. Take some precautions and give your plants the precious water it needs.

If you have more questions about watering your trees, call Olympic Lawn and Landscape at (816) 875-9645 today.

Frost Prevention | Protecting Your Plants

By | Frost Prevention, Winterization | No Comments

Hardy plants, look out! Even with mild winter weather this year, a quick drop in below-freezing temperatures can cause severe frost damage even to the toughest greens. As colder weather creeps in, it is imperative to keep Jack Frost away from your plants.

Deadly Beauty

To the naked eye, frost is a thing of beauty. The shapes and designs that ice can make on a plant or on glass can be awe inspiring. But for your lawn and garden, frost can be a deal breaker for spring beauty. If proper plant protection is not taken, frost can do a number on your plants.

The Definition

Even on cold days your plants take in much needed heat from the sun. After the sun goes down your plant may frost if the temperature drops below freezing because it loses any heat it stored up throughout the day. As the temperature drops, dew forms from the moisture in the air. If the air is below freezing, then that dew turns into frost.

The worst kind of frost is one that makes its way to the plant cells. Penetrating the plant cells can put your plant in danger. Luckily there are simple steps that can be done to protect your plants from those frigid temperatures.

How to Protect Your Plants

All you need to accomplish these simple steps is a little bit of prep-work and a little landscaping TLC.


Mulching can be as simple as sprinkling some pine straw about four inches thick around your plants. Make sure all areas of the plant are covered. You can also use hay or peat moss if you have some available. This protective layer will keep moisture in the ground around your plant. And the moisture will help retain the heat the plant takes in during the day.

Before you lay your first layer of mulch, go ahead and give your plant a good watering to build up the moisture before it is covered. On extremely cold nights be sure to give your plants a little bit of water before the sun goes down.


While most people know to prune their plants before winter arrives, did you know there is a proper way to prune? The density of your plant, how sensitive it is to frost, and if it is a fruit bearing plant will determine the best way to keep it pruned properly. Be sure to research each of your plants before you go to town with your pruning sheers. Proper pruning can go a long way in helping reduce the risk of frost on most of your plants.


Cover your most sensitive plants in cloth sheets or potato bags. Covering your plants in a material that has tiny holes is best. This allows your plants to breath. Be sure to remove your coverings first thing in the morning so that your plant can get as much sun exposure as possible. The covering helps lock in moisture and fight off any chances of frost.

Plan for the Future

Your landscaping design can actually play a vital role in protecting your plants from frost damage. For instance, when adding new plants to your landscaping, place weather-sensitive plants where less wind can get to them, such as under a tree or near a fence. Partial shade plants can be planted under a tree for more winter protection as well.

Another major factor in landscaping design and frost prevention is proper soil and water drainage. Does your yard have a slope or a does water pool in a certain space in your yard? Avoid planting in places that may allow water to gather and freeze quickly.

Doing just a few simple things this season can have a major effect on how your plants blossom in the spring. Frost prevention is for both the hardy and sensitive plants that call your yard their home.

Winter Garden TLC

By | Winter Lawn Care Tips, Winterization | No Comments

This has been a very strange winter, to say the least, but just because most of us have had very mild weather doesn’t mean our plants should go without extra love and care. Every winter garden needs TLC!  Some plants may even be tricked into thinking spring has sprung! As temperatures vary from warm to moderate to cold, it is vital to not only help your plants survive this winter but also to thrive!

As a Kansas City landscaper and native I have to admit, this has been one of the strangest winters I have seen in a long time, especially for those of us in the Midwest. And while enjoying 60 degree weather in the dead of winter is nice once in a while some of the plants in my winter garden love it, there is a slight danger for our lawns.

The Spring Effect

When the cold season starts to move in, the growth above the ground for most plants tends to die off. But for trees, shrubs and other perennial,s the root systems below are still alive but remain dormant until warmer weather arrives.

When multiple warm days occur, the ground may thaw and the plant may be fooled into thinking that spring has sprung.  This can cause serious damage to your plant by budding early and then facing severe weather. Luckily, there are a few easy things that can be done to protect your plants from this process and help them survive the winter.

Insulate Your Plants in Warm Winters

Insulating your plants is one of the best ways to protect them from harsh or mild winters. You really can’t go wrong with insulation. And the great news is that there are several things around your house that you can use for insulation.

Use a Christmas Tree for landscaping

Still have your Christmas tree in the house or in the wood pile? Use the branches from the tree to insulate your plants. Spread the branches near the base of your plant and create a protective shield with the branches, or pick off the needles from the branches and sprinkle them all around your plant.

Snow to insulate

If you do incur snow in your area, use the snow you shovel from your driveway, as long as it is free of toxic salts, and sprinkle it over your plants. The snow will act as a natural insulator from harsh winds and ice.


Old plastic glass containers in your house can also be used to insulate smaller plants. Just make sure that when using a container, it is large enough to cover the entire plant and a little bit of the grass our soil around it.

Prune and Water Your Plants in Winter

While insulation is key in protecting your plants and shrubs from varying winter temperatures, pruning and watering your plants should not be neglected, even in the winter. In fact, winter is a great time to cut back some of your old plants to make way for the new growth in the spring. Pruning dormant shrubs that are not growing in the winter can make a significant difference in their spring blossom.

And watering your plants at least once a month or once every other month will also help the frozen roots receive some much needed moisture. Luckily the watering doesn’t have to occur very often!

By doing small things around your lawn this winter you can help your landscaping survive the varying temperatures. And with all of your extra love and care, you will see big results when they thrive in the spring.


Olympic Lawn & Landscape, Inc. | 33701 E US Highway 50 | Lee's Summit, MO 64086 | (816) 875-9645| | Privacy Policy