COUNTDOWN TO FROST – 6 STEPS TO PREPARE YOUR HOME GARDEN FOR WINTER
For those of use who live in cooler temperatures, late Fall is the perfect time to wrap up our gardening season and brace for the frostiness of Winter. While foliage dropping down to the ground in the Fall and blooming back up in the Spring may seem like the inherent magic of nature, there are actually some things you can do to ensure that your garden has a great Spring come next year. Here are some action items that we practice with great success that
we’ve rounded up for you.
Turn it Off:
Make sure you turn off all hoses and irrigation systems attached to your garden during the Winter months. If you live in an area that experiences frigid Winters, you might also want to use an air compressor to clear out any excess water and bring everything inside for winter.
If you’ve used Mayne planters as part of your container gardening setup, ensure that you’ve emptied any excess water from the water reservoir by tipping it over, so it doesn’t freeze and misshapen the planter.
Tend to Your Garden Bed:
Starting early when prepping your garden for the Winter is key. Adding compost on top of your garden bed in late Fall, gives it enough time to soak up the nutrients before the ground freezes over during the winter. You can also add some mulch and straw over the compost to ensure the soil maintains its integrity and to prevent any weed development.
Out with the Old and Rotting:
This is a great time of year to give your garden a thorough clean up. Not only can rotting plants take away from the beauty of your garden but it also can be the source of pests and diseases. You can either completely remove these plants from your garden or bury them (if you’ve made sure they’re disease free!). Older plants are a great addition to your soil and do great wonders for its overall health!
Pay Attention to Your Perennials:
Most perennials can be tended to in the Spring, but certain plants like Hostas are better cut back once the ground has frozen over and foliage has died – this helps avoid diseases. Make sure you cover the surrounding soil with a layer of leaves or straw as mulch to insulate the plant and serve as an excellent source of fertilizer.
‘Spring Clean’ in the Fall:
Fall is a great time to take stock of your gardening tools – getting rid of the ones that have become worn out over time and preparing the rest for the next gardening season. We know how crazy Spring and Summer can be, so the cooler months can be set aside for thoroughly washing your tools and to remove any debris and removing any rust that might have formed over the year. Gardening tools like shovels and hoes my also require sharpening, so they work efficiently the following Spring.
What Should I Grow Next Year?
One of the joys of having a home garden is the opportunity to experiment with different kind of plants, becoming an expert at growing something, and mostly learning some hard lessons. Take into account plants that had a great year and the ones you had no success with. Is there something you could’ve done from your end that would’ve brought better results? Things we can control may include where the plant was placed, maintaining the right moisture levels and preserving the fertility of the soil.
Once you’ve prepared your garden for Winter, you should feel the same way Marie Kondo gets after she’s hugged a shirt, determines that it gives her happiness and decides to keep it! While these steps might take away some hours from your week, its going to literally reap its rewards in the long run. What are some other steps you take to winterize your garden? Let us know in the comments below.