Some people believe that when the weather starts to get colder and the leaves start to fall, it’s time to put the gardening tools away and wait until next spring to work on their garden again. Mistaken.
Winter is an important time to maintain the health of your garden and ensure a good harvest for the next year. You may think it may take too long to prepare your garden, but the truth is, it takes less than a day to prepare your garden for the coming winter. When night temperatures drop below forty-five degrees Fahrenheit for more than four consecutive days, or frost is expected in your area (usually around the end of October or November), you know it’s time to start preparing your garden. . You should start by evaluating your garden design, check which plants have grown well in the past season and which plants have not worked well.
Autumn is a good time to decide which plants will remain in your garden next year and which ones should go. It is also a good time to decide which new plants you want to grow. To make your garden more colorful and healthy, be sure to plant only the toughest plants during the fall so they can withstand the winter.
Some plants that will be good for planting in the fall are: rudbeckia, Aster Novi-belgii, Anemone Japonica, panicle hyandea, endive, escarole and Brussels sprouts. You can find all this and more in gardening magazines or in your local nursery. After finishing this, you should start cleaning up your garden. Start by extracting the weeds that may have sprouted and raking the fallen leaves. Weeds and rotten leaves can carry insects and diseases that could be harmful to your garden. You should also rid your garden of exhausted annual plants and harvest your vegetables and other plants that cannot withstand the winter weather.
After the autumn has come and gone, the leaves will be out of your trees and you will be able to see the rotten branches. Cutting unwanted branches from your trees is not necessary for the health of your gardens, but it could help you later by not letting the branches fall on your plants and not blocking the sun too much. If you have younger trees you should consider wrapping them and supporting them with pegs to help them survive the winter wind and cold.
Putting mulch on your garden for the winter can be a useful way of protecting plants from sudden changes in temperature and heavy snow. For mulch you can use about five inches of shredded bark, pine needles or a variety of other materials. You have to be careful not to mulch too early, because some insects may still be alive and able to take refuge in it for the winter.
Once you are done with your gardening tools, you should clean them and make sure they are in a safe place where they will not rust and you know where they will be for the next year. Before winter comes, you should always set up a snail repellent, as snails are one of the worst insects to have in your garden. If you have a swimming pool or fountain in your garden, be sure to take out all the fish you have in them and bring them inside. There is nothing sadder than a fish frozen in a block of ice.
by David Provance