Up in north country, we are already experiencing snow however before all our snow fell I made sure that my garden was ready to be covered by all that white fluffy stuff. While I enjoyed looking over my garden during the summer, there really is a sense of satisfaction of having your garden cleaned up and ready for the winter months. Here are a few tips to help you make sure that you are ready for winter.
Clean Out Your Garden
First off, the most important thing to do is clear out all the annual plants and trim down the perennials. While some people like to leave this chore for the spring, I personally don’t as I find the plant materials have already started to break down by spring which means slimy leaves. I know this for a fact….I did it once as I was feeling lazy that fall and left it. Plus if you don’t get to it quick enough in the spring, the new growth starts to come up and then it grows funny as it has to push up through the old leaves. Get those pruners out and get to whacking down the plants to about 3-4 inches from the ground. I always think of it as giving it a buzz cut!
Add Compost To Your Soil
Once you have all your plant material taken out of the garden, now is the time to add some compost and mulch to your flower beds. Throw the mixture into your beds and work it into the soil. This will give it needed nutrients for ultimate spring growth especially your bulbs that pop up in May.
Cover With Wood Chips
Once you have finished adding your compost, add a 4-inch layer of wood chips in your beds. Not only will this help combat weeds in the spring, but it also helps prevent your soil from drying out during warmer months as the wood chips protect it. You will also find that it also helps prevent soil erosion for when there is no protection from plants or snow cover.
Cover Plants With Burlap
Often you can get away with planting flowers that aren’t supposed to grow in your specific growth zone by babying them. This means that if you plant them in a more sheltered spot as well as covering them in the winter with burlap or a special cover that protects them from harsh elements that they normally don’t flourish in – they just may come back in the spring.
Once you have finished cleaning out your beds, and have them prepped for the spring – now is the time to sit back and relax. This is the perfect time to dream of what you can do in your garden next year!