Getting the garden ready for winter is just as important as preparing it for planting in the springtime. Here are 5 tips on how to prepare your garden for winter. These tips are a combination for a variety of gardens, instead of only a flower or vegetable garden.
5. Cut Back Perennials
Cutting back the leaves of perennials not only makes a garden look less messy, but it also helps the plants be prepared for the spring. Geranium, iris, hosta, delphinium, and coreopsis are all prime examples of plants that should be cut back in the winter.
4. Invest in a Good Heater
Outdoor ponds containing fish are susceptible to freezing, so investing in a quality heater is a must. Don’t opt for a cheap heating unit and take a chance of it malfunctioning half-way through the winter.
3. Cover Fragile Plants
Burlap bags are optimal for covering rose bushes and other plants that can be easily damaged by harsh winter weather. There is also the option to spray plants with an anti-desiccant formula that coats the leaves and needles. This coating will help the plants retain moisture over the winter and can be applied a second time halfway through the winter season.
2. Till in Dead Plants
When the vegetable garden is finished with production, pulling out the large plants and tilling the entire garden will make it much easier in the spring. Turning in the old plant material will also benefit the soil by providing some additional nutrients.
1. Mulch Where Necessary
A little bit of mulch can work wonders for sensitive plants. Wait until after the first big frost to do this, so the mulch doesn’t create warmer soil and cause rotting. You can use dead leaves, dried grass, straw, or wood chips. Hardy perennials don’t usually require any mulch.
Some of these tips are best used when the warmer weather is definitely over. Cold weather might hit for a week and then suddenly warm up, so be sure the winter is actually here before you start covering and mulching plants. Do you have plants that you used to winterize and later found out you didn’t have to? What other types of winterization do you perform on your garden areas?
Top Photo Credit: Klearchos Kapoutsis