Preparing Your Garden for Winter

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You’ve reaped the glorious benefits of a beautiful garden – whether it’s full of vegetables or flowers – all spring and summer. Now, however, fall has arrived and it’s time to get your space ready for the cold temperatures and precipitation of winter.
So, what’s so tough about that? Vegetables and Annual flowers are likely dead due to temps dropping so you really just need to clear the dead steams and foliage from flowers and veggies. This is crucial as some of these plants could end up being a haven for insect eggs and diseases throughout the winter.
Prepping for winter also means it’s the perfect time to dig and box in raised beds, construct a cold frame and make whatever repairs to the area that might be needed. Until the soil freezes, there’s still plenty happening in your flower or vegetable bed in the fall and winter.  Fall and early winter is still a great time for planting, so we plant a number of things, like perennials, bushes and trees in the fall, so they’re actually still feeding off the nutrients and moisture in the soil. It’s been known to be one of the best times to plant flowering, shade, and fruit trees during the fall to winter dormant season and it’s known to substantially minimize the initial watering period the first year of establishment.
You’ll also need to cut back dry/dead perennial stems to take advantage of one of the easiest times to manage this clean up tasks. Cut the stems to soil level after the first big frost – this will help improve the looks of your garden while also getting rid of any insect eggs and diseased spores that might still be hanging around.
This is also a great time to evaluate your mulch depth and apply adequate mulching for a clean and neat appearance while also maintaining a good insulation layer maintaining constant soil temps thru the winter and early spring. Area is well known for fluctuating temperatures especially during the spring. This controlled soil temperature will keep keep those landscape plants and perennials from flushing early or popping their heads above the soil line too early.
Another tip can be to apply a granular pre-emergent herbicide to the entire surface of the landscape and perennial beds unless you want to strongly promote the germination of perennial seeds from various perennials that are heavy seeders or naturalizers. Many types of cool season weeds, such as henbit and chickweed, germinate during the cool season from late fall thru early spring. You can get a head start on next year’s weed control by applying a pre-emergent such as HiYield Weed & Grass Stopper granular herbicide.
If you have a good snow, don’t panic about your plants. Snow can actually cover and insulate the soil, much like mulch does.
If you follow these simple steps, your garden will be both bountiful and beautiful come springtime.

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