Your garden doesn’t end with summer and start up again in spring. There’s actually a lot you can do to prepare it for winter, even while the temperatures dip below zero. The work you put in now will strengthen your garden and reduce the amount of work that’ll await you in spring, and it’s not so different from what you’ve been doing already!
Basic Garden Maintenance Preparing For Winter
A number of things you would normally do for your lawn should also be done in your garden, even as the weather gets colder. Some of these small jobs include the following:
- Raking leaves is important for grass because it can smother it and create dead spots, and the same can be said of the garden. Collect the leaves and compost them, or shred them with the lawn mower – it can make for good, inexpensive mulch!
- Add mulch (whether it’s made yourself or not) after the first ground freeze of the season. This will even out the soil’s temperature and protect what’s going to be in the ground all winter.
- Take care of the weeds and don’t let them grow all over your garden, even if you’ve given up for the season.
- Water your plants, especially if the precipitation this fall has been less-than-stellar. Even as they start going into their dormant period, plants could use extra water. Continue to do this until the first freeze – and don’t forget your trees, too!
While you have to adjust how you do them, you can still continue your chores into the fall time. It’s the best way to help your garden stay healthy all through the colder months!
Winter Plant Protection
Gardeners who want to see their plants survive the extreme lows of winter can take extra precautions. Usually, larger plants need the extra protection from the cold, because most of the trees, bushes, and shrubs are exposed to the elements.
- Tree trunks should be wrapped in special paper to prevent cracking. Cracks can form as frozen sap is warmed in the sun, then quickly frozen again during the night. The paper reflects the sun’s rays and keeps the internal temperature of the tree consistent.
- Prune some perennials. Grab some garden shears and cut back some of your perennials. They’ve been raised to survive, but cutting them back can help protect the important parts from damage.
- Wrap shrubs and hedges in burlap to protect them from the wind, as well as the weight of snow and ice.
Plants are built pretty sturdy – they’ve evolved to survive countless winters – but for them to stay healthy, they will need a little assistance!
Plant Some Hearty Bulbs
Spring-blooming flowers can be planted in the fall for some effortless colour come spring. Daffodils, tulips, and hyacinth are just some of the amazing flowers that will grow when winter is over, and you just have to get them ready now! If flowers aren’t your thing, think about planting some culinary bulbs – shallots and garlic can be planted in the fall and will be ready for cooking by next summer.
Some bulbs aren’t good for winter, but you can take those in, wrap them in a moist cloth, and keep them in a cool, dark place over the winter.