Beautiful yards and abundant gardens are something we all look forward to when the weather gets warm, but when winter is approaching there are still chores we need to do to prepare the plants, the earth, and ourselves for next spring’s gardening season. Here are some of those tasks:
Clean and sharpen garden tools. Remove dirt and rust with steel wool, then lightly apply oil to the metal blades AND the wooden handles. Refer to these videos if you need help.
Prune or cut back. You will probably have to do some research on your particular plants, but generally you want to wait until after a few frosts so that you aren’t encouraging new growth. And if you have any diseases or pest problems, don’t add those cuttings to your compost pile!
Fertilize—but no later than October. Once again, you don’t want to encourage new growth only to have the frosts kill it.
Mulch. Mulching helps insulate your plants root system, so cover your soil in a layer 1-3 inches thick. You can use grass clippings, hay or straw, wood chips, or leaf mulch.
Plant. Garlic and flower bulbs need to go in before the ground is frozen.
Enjoy the cool. Take advantage of the cooler weather and fix broken shed doors, repair a trellis, build new raised garden beds, plant trees or shrubs, etc.
Start a gardening notebook. The content is up to you, but some ideas would be keeping track of pest problems and solutions, diagrams of your garden areas, planting and harvesting dates, and garden maintenance.
These tips are bound to help you keep your gardens happy and healthy over the winter.