During the winter season the garden sleeps, just waiting for spring to come along. With the right preparation, you can ensure that your garden survives the cold weather in good health, so they’ll start the next year on the right foot. Preparing your plants will lead to less damage to the beds and fewer losses of plants to disease and damage. Fall is the time to get your plants ready for the winter – then you can sit back and relax until the snow begins to melt. Just follow these steps and you’ll be on your way to a healthy garden.
Are Your Plants Ready for Winter?
Step 1: Clean out your garden beds by removing old mulch from perennial flowers and disposing of it. Pull up and compost the annual flowers. You should also remove leaves, dead plant matter and fallen branches from the beds.
Step 2: Cut perennial flower plants down to about 3 inches tall once the foliage starts to die – this usually happens after the first fall frost. Then, dispose of the trimmings or compost them.
Step 3: Dig up tender bulbs and roots such as dahlias and calla lilies. Then, store them in dry peat moss in a cool, dark area until it’s time to replant in spring.
Step 4: Add a 2-inch layer of compost to both of your perennial and annual beds. Work the compost into the soil with a hand cultivator. Make sure not to damage the roots of the perennial plants.
Step 5: Apply winter mulch to rosebushes and other tender shrubs before the first freeze in fall. Cover the main trunk and crown with a 6-inch layer of leaves and soil or you could also use pine needles.
Step 6: Mulch over perennial beds once the ground starts to freeze. This will protect the plant crowns from being damaged in the cold weather. Use a 3- to 4-inch layer of straw, pine boughs or leaves.
If you experience snowfall during the winter, your plants will be more susceptible to mold and disease. To avoid these problems, you may want to consider using a fungicide, such as Pure 3-Way or Kapow, to keep your plants healthy. This organic product saves your plants from fungus without harming your loved ones or the environment.