It's hard to believe we have to start getting our gardens ready for the cold Winter ahead... it feels like we were just planting starts in the sunshine last weekend! Our guide below lists several of the tasks our gardeners do to ensure their gardens are ready for whatever the Winter throws at us, as well as a few tips to get a jump start on next Spring.
Plant Maintenance & Cleanup
Remove all fallen leaves from under Rose bushes.
Lift Dahlia & Begonia tubers and Gladiolus corms to store until next Spring.
Cut back yellowing foliage on herbaceous perennials.
Lift Parsnips after the first hard frost.
Check stored Garlic & Onions and remove the rotten ones.
Tidy up Strawberry beds. Remove bad leaves and runners.
Divide mature clumps of Rhubarb once they go dormant.
Set your lawn mower to a higher cut for Winter. Stop mowing once the grass is no longer growing.
Mulch over tender perennials.
Protect remaining annuals and tender blooms from frost with Harvest-Guard sheets.
Rake up leaves and use as mulch or add to compost.
Tools, Pottery and Garden Décor
Drain and store hoses for the Winter.
Turn off fountain and water feature pumps, clean and store.
Move fragile garden décor, decorative pottery and statuary to a protected area.
Clean, repair, sharpen and put away gardening tools.
Wild Bird, Wildlife & Beneficial Insect
Empty and store birdbaths (or add a heater to keep water from freezing).
Stock up on nutritious feeds and add high-fat foods.
Put away glass and fragile bird feeders.
Provide birdhouses and windbreaks.
Remove Mason Bee cocoons from their houses and store in a protected, cool location or the fridge once cleaned.
Clean and store Mason Bee, Ladybug, Leafcutter and other beneficial insect homes until early Spring.
Planning Ahead - A Jump Start to Next Season
Update your garden journal with information on how the season went.
Collect seeds for next season.
Plan next years garden layout while everything is fresh in your memory. (Remember to consider crop rotation while planning.)
Inventory bags of soil, fertilizer, pots and tools.