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How to prepare gardens for the winter

Monday, November 15, 2010

With winter fast approaching, it's important to prepare your garden for the season.
With winter fast approaching, it's important to prepare your garden for the season.

As temperatures drop and daylight hours dwindle, it is time to close up that garden for winter. To ensure that your garden is ready for the winter months, gardeners should heed the following tips.

Frost limits the ability of plants to store food. Once the dreaded first frost comes, gardeners should take care to prepare themselves for a winter devoid of the freshly-gardened food they have grown accustomed to. First, make sure to trim your evergreen shrubs: these include holly, boxwood and yew. Prune any dying flowers and bushes and then take care to rake back the leaves.

Steve Boehme of the Chillicothe Gazette advises gardeners to "clip the spent blooms off your hardy mums," leaving the green foliage so they can protect the roots from the harsh winter winds. As always, spread fertilizer on the bare soil around your plants to promote fertile soil. When paring down perennials, however, Boehme stresses that gardeners should wait until spring to clip them back because their foliage protects them from the cold and best preserves them through the winter.

Regardless of your gardening style, it is important to take measures before the truly severe winter weather comes to prepare your garden. After all, you don't want it to look like a John Deere tractor rammed through it during the winter months!

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