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Helpful Tips To Prepare Your Garden Plants For Winter


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Fall is now here, and with it comes the unavoidable slow-down of garden activities. Depending on where you live, you may notice your plants dropping some leaves or your perennials lushing with color. You’ve labored through the rush of spring planting and enjoyed the summer yields and harvests. Now it’s time to start thinking about how best to prep your plants and put your garden to bed for winter. Here are some tips you can use to prepare garden plants for winter. 

  1. Clean up dead plants and leave healthy ones in place

Take the time to remove ailing or dead plants and leave only the healthy ones in place for the winter season. Of course, you might want to leave the ailing or dead plants to rot and add to the soil nutrient, but the problem here is that some decaying plants can harbor funguses, pests, and diseases. And they can infect or kill your healthy plants before winter is over. So, a safer option is to remove all of them. You should consider hiring emergency tree removal services to remove dead or dying trees in your garden, as the weight of snow can snap branches or fall the trees and damage your plants.  

  1. Cover up the garden beds

Many people prefer to add compost to their garden beds in spring. But a better option is to cover your beds with compost during the latter end of autumn. This way, your soil can soak up more than enough nutrients over winter. The most important thing is to get your timing right. When you notice that the ground is beginning to get cold, that’s the time to start covering up your beds. Add a few inches of manure or compost as your bed cover, and place a thin layer of mulch or straw on top of the compost. Doing this will help prevent weed development, soil erosion, and nutrient loss during winter.

  1. Protect your annual plants from frost

Perennial plants may return yearly, but annual plants need special preparation to help them live through the cold winter. And the best way to prepare your annual plants is to protect them from frost. Your annual plants may only thrive one season in your garden, and most of them cannot survive chilling temperatures.

Annuals come in two broad classifications - warm-season annuals and cool-season annuals. While the cool season annuals thrive in cool temperatures, the warm season category prefers warm or hot temperatures. You can cover both annual plant types with floating row covers or old sheets when mild winter frost appears. That will help extend their life during the cold. You can also move annuals in containers and pots into warm areas like your garage. 

  1. Cut down some of your perennials

In early winter, look out for perennials that start to lose their leaves or appear dormant. If you can’t save your annual plants, remove them and cut down some of your perennials to about 6 to 8 inches above ground level. This way, their stems can stay in place, insulating the plants from the cold.

Would you like to comment?

  1. I cover my beds with raked leaves every year to protect the plants underneath. Chicago gets bitterly cold in the winter.

  2. Living in Florida means we don't have to prepare much for winter. BUT, we do have some bad frosts that come through now and again. So I will cover something I don't want to burn.

  3. We have several sheets to cover any plants in the winter time. We keep them on hand all the time.

  4. I don't really have any plants as I tend to kill things on accident. But I try to keep what I do have safe. Luckily it doesn't get too cold in Texas.

  5. Winter will be here way to soon. Thankfully I have until the end of November to get my garden ready.

  6. These are all great ideas. I can't believe it's almost time to start doing this already. I can't believe summer is already almost over already.

  7. Richelle Milar12:32 AM

    These are all really great and very helpful tips! I’m surely gonna keep these in mind! Thanks for sharing this with us!

  8. These tips are good to remember. I should prepare my balcony plants for winter!

  9. Not having to deal with the harsh winter snows in my gardens has been one of the perks to living so far south, but in the event of a cold snap these tips are great to keep in mind!

  10. That's a great idea to put the compost on the garden in the fall instead of in the spring. Re annuals, I brought my geranium inside last winter and it bloomed again outside this summer!


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