Let’s put the garden to bed right!
The days are definitely getting shorter. For those of you not planning on extending your fall harvest or planting cold hardy winter veggies, it’s time to put the garden to bed. Here are a few simple steps to help get your garden ready for hibernation.
10 Steps to put Your Garden to Bed
- Leaves and grass clippings are great free sources for mulch. Your tender perennials will need some protection over the winter, use what you have!
- Your plants that spent the summer and fall on your porch will need to come in when the overnight temps are dipping to 40 degrees or lower. Make sure you condition and debug them to live indoors again first to help avoid shock to the plants.
- The best thing about winter is the break from mowing the lawn! But, go ahead and fertilize your grass with a low nitrogen starter or winterizer to give it a head start in the spring.
- If you planted fall vegetables and want to extend the season a little longer, build a simple hoop house over your garden beds. Row covers are also an inexpensive choice.
- Don’t let your garden beds sit empty over the winter. Plant a cold hardy cover crop to help enrich the soil over the winter and keep weeds at bay. In the spring, till it in and you are ready to go!
- You typically do not prune trees and shrubs when they are about to go dormant, but it’s okay to cut way dead or damaged limbs. You can remove the spent canes of blackberries and raspberries at this time as well.
- If you want spring and early summer bulbs to bloom, you need to get them in the ground now! Most bulbs can be planted right around first frost but at least 6 weeks before the ground freezes.
- Fall is the perfect time to plant new shrubs and trees. Get them in before the ground freezes, water them well, and mulch around the base. Fall planting gives the trees and shrubs time to grow a strong root system before spring.
- Give your garden tools some TLC before you pack them up for the winter. They worked hard for you all summer, so show them you care.
- It’s never too early to sign up for seed catalogs! You need to get a head start on planning next year’s spring garden. Daydream about all the new flowers and vegetables you are going to grow next year.