3 Steps to Winterizing Your Garden
When should you winterize your garden, and exactly how do you do it? The precise answer depends on the type of plants in the garden and how much protection they need to survive in your climate. The first step is always to remove any plants not hardy in your zone and store them in a warmer environment in an adequately sized pot.
After that, the following five steps will walk you through the basic process of winterizing your garden. You may have other steps to complete, depending on the care needed for each of your plants. If you aren’t aware of any specialized care instructions, then following this quick guide will help you protect your plants until they’re ready to awaken for spring.
1. Water your plants and tidy up.
Give your plants one last soak, setting them up for a well-hydrated winter slumber. Then look between plants and around the edges of the garden to pull out any weeds that have managed to creep in over the warmer months. Remove any dead plant shoots and plant debris that may serve as home to pests over the winter or come spring.
You may also complete general maintenance tasks like putting edging back neatly in place and preparing your irrigation system for the colder months. You should also eliminate all water from your garden hoses and put them away until growing season arrives again.
2. Care for individual plants.
Some plants may need to be cut back for the winter while others are more likely to survive the winter if you deadhead in the fall. Some of your perennials may need to be divided.
If you aren’t sure what kind of care your plants may need, look up care instructions online. Many plants do best with some late fall care but will survive without it, so don’t stress yourself out if you don’t have time to tend to every plant individually.
3. Mulch your garden.
If your trees have shed their leaves, you can mulch them up and use them as a natural protective cover for your garden. You can also purchase mulch and add a new layer to the garden. Some plants may need more protection than others.
Winterizing your gardens is the best thing you can do to give your plants a head start on spring growth. While many plants look dead during the cold month, they’re preparing for the big wake-up and season of growth to come.
The more time you spend winterizing your garden, the more likely you are to have a spectacular garden come spring. Try to complete all three of these steps soon after the first hard freeze in your area. That hard freeze is the green light that tells you it’s time to put your plants to bed.