7 Steps to Prepare Your Garden for Winter
Summer has come and gone, fall is here, and winter is on its way. You might be thinking your gardening duties are over for the year, but that isn’t quite true. Preparing your garden for winter now is actually one of the best ways to care for and prepare your garden for the spring. Here are seven things to do in order to prepare your garden and landscaping for winter.
Clean up your garden.
If you’ve read any of our recent blog posts, then you know how much we’ve been preaching the importance of cleaning up your garden beds. Harvest the last of your produce, clean out diseased plants, pull the weeds out by the root, deadhead flowering plants, and clear out any additional debris. Cleaning out your garden now leads to fewer weeds and other pests bothering your garden once the weather warms up next year. (There are some helpful insects that live in yard debris throughout the winter. So, you don’t necessarily have to clean out your entire yard. You can consider leaving debris in less important or less trafficked areas of your gardens or yard to help out these helpful critters.)
Test your soil.
If you have the time and resources, you can test your soil before hunkering down for winter. Once you know what your soil needs, you can amend accordingly.
Nourish your garden beds.
Once you’ve gathered up the last of your fall produce, and maybe even tested your soil, you can cover your garden beds with compost, organic fertilizer, mulch, or shredded leaves. You can also plant a cover crop, like crimson clover or alfalfa, in your garden bed in the fall after you’ve cleaned up your garden. Either way, these methods will help the health of your soil, add nutrients back into it, and prevent erosion and washing out.
Prune shrubs and perennials.
Fall and winter are great seasons to prune certain plants. Be careful to do your research and check which of your plants can be pruned this season, as some perennials – like blueberries and raspberries – are best pruned in the spring. Now is also prime time for pruning and trimming rose bushes. Be careful not to prune too much this fall, as exposing too much of your plant can lead to pests and disease. As always, do your research for each plant!
Wrap certain shrubs and trees.
Some plants just need a warm hug to keep them going through the winter. As temperatures drop, wrap younger and more delicate shrubs and trees (certain fruit trees, like figs) with plastic, paper or burlap to keep them safe through the colder months. You can also cover tropical plants, as they can’t handle the cooler temperatures. Here in middle Tennessee we rarely experience much snow. However, if you do experience snowfall this year, be sure to gently knock it off branches to protect your plants from breakage.
Clean up gardening equipment.
You’ve harvested the last of your garden and cleaned up all your landscaping, so now is the time to show your outdoor tools and equipment some TLC. Clean up and sharpen your gardening tools, and clean up and store your hoses for next year.
With the garden tucked in and ready for winter’s embrace, it’s the perfect time to let your imagination wander. Picture the blooms, the veggies, and all the vibrant colors you’d love to see come spring. And if you ever feel the need for some garden inspo or advice, remember, we’re just a chat away. Let this winter be the canvas for your garden dreams, and come spring, we’ll help turn those dreams into blossoms.
Have more questions, or need help further preparing your yard for winter? Give us a call, or visit our garden center in Nashville!