It’s Time to Prepare Your Landscape for Winter!

Dec 6, 2016

Now is the time to prepare your garden and landscape for winter. The simple tasks recommended below will help prevent perennial weeds, insect pests, and certain disease pathogens so these problems don't get established and become difficult later.


  • Manage weeds using nonchemical methods such as cultivation, handweeding, or mowing.
  • Prevent weeds using competitive plants, mulches, and hand removal.
  • Herbicides (weed killers) are rarely needed in established landscape plantings when nonchemical controls are used regularly.

To learn more about managing weeds, see the UC IPM Pest Note: Weed Management in Landscapes.

Insects and Diseases

Insect pests and disease pathogens may be overwintering on your plants or hiding in other places in the landscape. When weather warms in spring, these pests can quickly become a problem. To prevent this:

  • Practice good sanitation around the yard by removing diseased wood, brush piles, and debris and dispose of waste immediately.
  • On fruit trees, remove “mummies” from both the tree and the ground.  
  • Prune off dead, diseased, and borer-infested wood.

For more information on common winter pests and how to prevent them, visit the dormant or delayed-dormant season controls page.

Monthly tips

Wouldn't it be great if you could find a list of what to do in the landscape each month in your area? There is!—the Seasonal Landscape IPM Checklist (SLIC). This monthly guide helps gardeners and landscape professionals see common pests of landscape plants in certain regions in California (more to be added soon), and provides information to help you use integrated pest management (IPM) to avoid and manage the pests.

Also, many county UC Master Gardener offices and web sites have monthly gardening tips to help you plan. Find your local UC Master Gardener office at

By Anne Schellman
Author - UC Master Gardener Coordinator
By Karey Windbiel-Rojas
Author - Associate Director for Urban & Community IPM/ Area IPM Advisor