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8 Tips for Winterizing Your Garden



You’ve put a lot of hard work into your garden this summer, and hopefully it rewarded you with plenty of bright flowers and scrumptious fruits and vegetables.

Alas, the time has come to put your garden to bed for the winter season ahead. We know—it’s tempting to just leave it to die out on its own. But the extra work you put in now will pay off next year in a big way, saving you time and money in prepping your garden come spring.

Here’s what you need to do to winterize your garden.

The Final Harvest
Most of the gorgeous greens growing in your garden won’t survive the frosty winter months, so pick the final survivors and enjoy them in all their glory. Some veggies, like garlic and carrots, are hearty enough to survive until the winter, so you can leave those behind. Otherwise, it’s now or never!

Overripe produce will also attract hungry animals, so there’s another good reason to get harvesting.

Tidy Up
Between fallen leaves and pesky weeds, your garden could probably use a good cleaning. Clear up any debris littering your garden, and pull weeds and invasive species. Be sure to dispose of invasive species properly to avoid having them spread—do not toss them in the compost!

Store Your Bulbs
Some bulbs need to be protected throughout the winter months, as they won’t survive the chilly temperatures still to come. Dig up these tender bulbs and brush them clear of dirt, then allow them a few days to dry out. Store them in a cardboard box under wood shavings, vermiculite, dry peat moss, or buckwheat hulls, taking care to spread them apart so that no two bulbs are touching.

Prep Your Perennials
Most perennials will need to be divided every three to five years. If your perennials looked like they were slowing down a bit this past summer, consider it your cue to dividing them up for next spring. Then, trim them back close to soil level to keep them strong throughout the winter months.

Get Planting
Spring is the usual planting season, but for those plants that bloom in the springtime, now is the time to get the bulbs in the soil. You’ll want to get this done before the ground freezes, and be sure to dig them deep enough to survive the cold months ahead.

Add Mulch
Once the soil has frozen, spread on a nice, thick layer of mulch—think three to four inches deep—to insulate your garden all winter long. There’s a lot going on underneath the soil that you can’t see, and adding this protective layer will keep the temperature consistent throughout the season.

Tidy Up the Lawn
While you’re tending to your garden, don’t forget to clean up your yard. That endless pile of leaves will come into handy in the spring—just pile them up and let nature take its course. In a few months, the pile will be reduced to some nutrient-packed conditioner for your garden.

Head to the Shed
It’s time to reassess the past season. Take note of what worked and what didn’t, and start planning for next year’s garden. Give your gardening tools a good clean, sharpening those that need it. Repair or replace anything that’s broken and take a couple of hours to organize your shed. Remember: more work now means less work in the spring!

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