Tips for Winterizing Your Garden


Is your garden ready for winter weather?

Now that Halloween is behind us, it’s only natural to start thinking about the months to come. Many homeowners will need to winterize their garden not only to help plants survive the brutal winter nights, but also to ensure that their garden will produce beautiful flowers come spring time. Here are a few tips for winterizing your garden and landscape.

  • Tidy up and remove invasives. Get rid of spent stalks and other plant debris that will attract pests and diseases during the winter months. Remove any dead or dying foliage in order to free up additional gardening chores next spring. In addition, pull out any weeds or unwanted plants.
  • Protect new trees. Young, newly planted trees, particularly fruit bearing trees, have a thin layer of bark that can suffer cracking from the fluctuating temperatures during winter. You can use tree wrap tape and plastic spiral tree protectors to help prevent this from happening.
  • Spread mulch. Once the ground has started to freeze, add a thick layer of mulch to your late fall garden additions. This will help keep the ground consistently cold or frozen until spring and prevent freeze/thaw cycles that can cause the ground to heave or uproot plants. Mulching is especially important for newly planted perennials that haven’t had much time to develop an extensive root system.
  • Protect evergreens and shrubs. Exposed evergreens are susceptible to wind burn. While it isn’t necessary to cover your entire garden, you can use burlap and landscape fabric to wrap plants you’d like to protect on their windward side.
  • Continue to plant. You might be surprised to learn that gardeners in much of the country can continue to grow and harvest cool-season crops such as lettuce, spinach, beets, and other vegetables. A cold frame made from inexpensive wire hoops and agricultural cloth will help even during snows and freezes.
  • Check water features. Don’t allow your pump to freeze. Consult with your landscaping experts to make sure that your garden pond will move water during the winter. Also check whether or not any plants in the pond need to be removed and stored.

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