Preparing A Garden for Winter: How To Do It Like A Pro
Preparing your garden for winter the right way is crucial if you want a thriving garden for spring.
It will also give you less work in winter and in spring.
Do you want to know how?
You don’t have to be a pro!
In this article, we’ll show you the step-by-step guide to get your garden ready before it starts to snow.
To your naked eye, there might seem like there’s no activity happening in your garden during winter.
But beneath the surface, the magic is happening.
Roots are growing. Earthworms are doing their job. Microbes are transforming organic materials.
Depending on your preparation, these activities will manifest in a beautiful or ugly way after winter.
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Before you start working on your garden, you have to plan out your desired outcome for your space.
Visualize how you want your garden to look like when spring comes.
This will be your guide on the activities you will do.
To avoid mice from making your garden their cozy winter home, start preparing your garden when it starts to get cold.
That way, the mice have already settled in a different place.
So, let’s start!
What you need
For Leaf Mold:
#1. Remove dead plants and separate them
Pull up all the dead summer plants in your garden. Separate the good stuff from the bad.
Keep the good debris for composting.
Throw or burn questionable remnants like diseased and slimy plants.
The diseased plants will allow pests to proliferate in winter.
Also, remove injured and diseased branches from evergreen trees.
Do not add them to your compost. Throw them off instead.
#2. Rake debris and leaves and create a leaf mold
Collect all the fallen leaves and debris. Get all the leaves from all over your house and garden.
Do not include leaves from heavily trafficked paths. Just like the dead plants, throw the disease-infested ones.
Create a leaf mold using the healthy leaves you collected.
Leaf Mold Instructions:
- Do not include the following leaves on your leaf mold. The leaves of these trees release chemicals that can impede plant growth.
- Camphor Laurel
- Cherry laurel
- After collecting the leaves, shred them with a mower. This will make the leaves decompose faster.
- Form a square by hammering 4 wooden posts firmly into the ground.
- Wrap and secure the chicken wire around the posts using u-shaped nails.
- Fill the cylinder with the leaves you collected. Don’t compress the leaves because airflow is necessary for decomposition.
#3. Remove old mulch
The old mulch harbors insects and disease-causing organisms so you have to scrape them off.
Collect and throw old mulch.
After clearing up your garden with old mulch, replace them with new mulch.
Spread one to six inches of mulch on your pots and garden plots.
This will enrich the soil and protect your plant roots from the winter.
Dealing with Winter Plants
#1. Protect hardy plants
Your goal is to protect your winter plants from the impact of snow. Without a cover, the plants might lose their shape or even get destroyed completely.
Protect young trees by wrapping the tender trunks with wire. For multi-stemmed evergreens, bind all the stems together and loosely tie it using a twine. Form a cone shape starting from the bottom all the way up. After that, cover it with a burlap cloth. Don’t wrap it too tight so your plant has room to breathe.
#2. Keep healthy plants
Leave plants that still look nice, sturdy, and have seed heads like sunflowers and thistles.
Aside from the beauty they bring to your winter garden, they are vital in keeping the ecosystem alive.
They serve as food and habitat for insects and birds.
You must also leave some hardy vegetables like broccoli, Brussel sprouts, and kale.
These vegetables can survive light snow and they’ll even taste better.
You can harvest them during winter.
#3. Plant bulbs that flower in spring
You can also till your garden and plant bulbs like daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths.
These bulbs are best planted in the fall so that they’ll be ready to bloom when spring time comes.
The bulbs should be buried at a distance three times the bulb height.
Preparing your garden for winter is all about cleaning up and protecting your plants.
Doing this ensures that your garden will survive the winter and you’ll have less job to do in spring.
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