Winterizing your garden The essentials to follow

Winterizing your garden The essentials to follow

Because of freezing cold, frightful winds and frost, and possible snowstorms, winter poses many challenges to any gardener. At this time of year, plants are more likely to develop disease and die. You do not want that to happen to your plants, is it? So, to avoid any eventuality, you must winter your garden. The main reason to winter your garden is to protect your plants from winter weather and help them survive the cold season so you can have a healthy and productive garden in the spring. Wintering of the garden is done during the fall season, just before the cold settles.

Gardens vary in the same way as gardeners. But although the gardens differ, there are winterization procedures applicable to all types of gardens. Here are a few

  • 1. Pick up the leaves from your garden. This prevents diseases among plants and allows a good circulation of air and water. Eliminate leaves by adding them to your compost. However, if the leaves come from diseased plants, throw them in the trash to avoid contamination of the compost.

  • 2. Cover the plants with mulch. This will act as a cover to protect your plants from frost and extreme winter weather. Unless your place is in the coldest area, use thin layers of mulch because a thick, compact mulch can work against your plants. Use sawdust, pine needles, straw or shredded leaves as mulch and apply them around the roots and above the beds.

  • 3. Relocate delicate plants indoors. All plants that can not survive the weather must be moved indoors. Place them in a cool, dry place. Do not forget to water them regularly. However, do not over-water the plants as this may cause rot. As spring approaches, place them in sunny places.

  • 4. Plant strong, spring-blooming bulbs in late fall. At this point, the soil is soft enough to hold bulbs. It is recommended to plant them two to three inches off the ground. The most delicate bulbs, however, should be kept indoors, especially in a cool, dry room, as they can not withstand the winter cold.

  • 5. Do not fertilize. Fertilization encourages new growth that will be too soft to survive frost and cold. If you need to fertilize, do it early in the fall. Fertilization should be discontinued in the middle or late fall and resume only in the spring.

  • 6. Clean your plants. Remove the dead and damaged parts, then add the waste into the compost pile, unless of course they are cut from diseased plants.

  • 7. Eliminate weeds. Because weeds grow a lot in the fall, kill them as soon as you notice them. Otherwise, they will multiply uncontrollably and give you a lot of work in the spring.

When wintering your garden, determine the possible winter extremes in your area, so you can adjust and better prepare your plants for the coming season.

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