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Preparing Your Garden For Winter: Your How To Guide

garden in winter

As winter slowly creeps its way into homes across the country, many home owners will be wondering how to properly prepare their gardens to ensure they survive the plummeting temperatures, and to emerge the stronger for it in the new year. Below is a handy how-to guide to follow for maximum results regardless of where you reside in the USA.

Protect your trees

The vast majority of trees should not be negatively affected by the cold weather. However, you will need to take precautions to protect young, tender trees and subtropical trees, says Longwood tree service company, McCullough Tree Service. These types of trees may experience root injury, ice damage, and die back if left exposed to freezing temperatures for long periods of time. In order to protect them, you should:

  • Avoid watering them close to wintertime to prevent freezing;
  • Spread mulch around the base of the tree to help insulate the roots;
  • Wrap the tree trunk and lower branches using a commercial tree wrap.

Some home owners may opt to get in touch with an arborist to advise on specific tree protecting tactics for the trees within their unique garden.

Tend to your veggie garden

Begin by taking a close look at the vegetables currently growing in your garden. Root vegetables are usually quite hardy when it comes to surviving frost. However, veggies like tomatoes, peas, and pumpkins will not be able to withstand winter temperatures, so be sure to harvest and remove them ahead of time.

Tidy the garden

Frost and icy temperatures tend to cause the ground to harden, which can make it difficult to remove weeds and other debris. As such, it is recommended that you tidy your garden before winter hits. Get rid of weeds, till the soil, and add a layer of compost.

Protect your herbs

Some herbs will be perfectly fine throughout the colder months, whereas others will not fare well at all. Thyme, sage, and chives are examples of herbs that will survive winter with little to no protection, whereas basil, rosemary, and parsley are ones that don’t. You will need to bring these inside (although some, such as oregano, will be fine if you protect them with a layer or two of mulch).

Do your chores

There are certain garden chores that should be completed before the season changes. These chores include the following:

  • Emptying your outdoor containers and storing them upside down to prevent cracking and freezing.
  • Removing any residual water from within your garden hose before putting it away for the winter.
  • Mowing your lawn.
  • Picking up and disposing of fallen leaves. Add them to your compost pile if you have one or run the mower over them to turn them into mulch.
  • Covering your compost pile with plastic before the first snow fall of the season.
  • Cleaning and stashing your gardening tools away in a safe place.


The secret to preparing your garden for winter is starting as early as possible. Before you know it, spring will be here once again!


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