01 Oct Preparing Your Garden For Winter
Below is a checklist on how to properly prepare your garden for the winter.
1. General Cleaning and Grooming
Get a jump on spring grooming by removing dead and dying foliage.This grooming of plant debris will lessen the chances of dormant plants becoming a home for pests and diseases during the winter months. It’s also a great time to do some general weeding.
You can compost dead plant debris (non-weeds) and leaves that you’ve raked to create a great soil conditioner for spring. Be sure to put all weeds and foliage suspected to be diseased in a trash can, not in your compost pile.
2. Divide Perennials
Now is the time to divide your perennials, as it is less shocking to plants preparing for dormancy. Most perennials benefit from being divided and transplanted every 3 to 5 years. If you have a clump of plants that hasn’t been flowering as profusely as it previously did divide them too.
3. Dig Up and Store Tender Bulbs
Tender bulbs like caladiums, cannas, dahlias and gladiolas will die if left in the ground. It’s best to dig these tender bulbs up, let them dry for a week, then layer them inside of paper bags with peat moss or vermiculite. These bagged bulbs should be stored in a cool, dry, dark place for the winter.
4. Add Mulch
Once the ground has started to freeze, add a thick layer of mulch to any newly planted perennials that haven’t had a chance to develop their root system yet. The mulch will help keep the ground consistently cold until spring and prevent freeze/thaw cycles in the soil.
Shredded leaves, pine needles and straw make a great winter mulch.
5. Water Trees and Shrubs
Before the ground freezes, it’s important to deeply water trees and shrubs, especially evergreens, as getting water to the roots is impossible once the ground freezes. Their foliage and stems need to be nice and plump to prevent damage from drying winds that are common during the winter.
6. Protect Your Shrubs
Protect your tender shrubs by wrapping them in burlap. Be sure not to use plastic as it doesn’t breathe and will keep your plants at higher temperatures.
7. Prepare for Spring
Now that you have the garden ready for winter, it’s time to take care of a few things that will make for an easier spring. Take time now to take down, clean and repair birdhouses. Clean and sharpen and repair tools so they’re ready to go when you need them.
If you have any questions, stop by or give us a call. We’ll be happy to help!