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Winterize the Garden: Preparing Your Garden for the Cold Season:

As the chilly breeze sweeps through the air and the autumn foliage is all raked and composted, it's a clear indication that winter is just around the corner.

Then there's the Garden Winter Care:
I don't like gardening when it's cold, but I sure enjoy when spring arrives and my garden is tidy.

Garden Cleanup:

Before the first snowfall, even though I would rather play on my computer, I start on a thorough garden cleanup. Cleaning up now prevents potential pest and disease issues in the coming months and it's so nice to welcome spring with a tidy garden.

Pruning: Trimming and Cutting Back Plants

Trim back overgrown branches and cut back perennial plants to an appropriate height. This is hard for me to do, because there's still some flowers blooming that struggled in the heat and now are loving the cool weather. However, now I am brave. I use the cut flowers in the house and tell my perennials "see you again next year".
The annuals; I either pull them all out or overwinter them as a house plant.

Mulching Magic: Protecting Soil and Roots

Apply a generous layer of mulch to insulate the soil and protect plant roots from extreme temperature fluctuations. I use mostly fall leaves and straw.

Shielding Greenery: Wrapping and Covering Plants

I buy perennial plants that are hardy to my planting zone.
For new perennial plants and trees, I create protective barriers using burlap. This shielding helps prevent desiccation and windburn. I only do this for the first 2 winters. After that they are climatized to my zone.

Hydration in the Cold:

I Water deeply before the ground freezes to ensure plants have adequate moisture.

Maintenance of Structures and

Inspect and repair garden structures such as trellises, fences, and raised beds. Don't forget to clean the shed as well. It always surprises me that I remembered to clean my working area before going in for the winter hibernation. :)

Tool Care: Storing and Preserving Garden Equipment

Clean, sharpen, and properly store your garden tools. I linseed oil everything as well.

Overwintering Potted Plants

Bring tender potted plants indoors before the first frost. Find a suitable location with sufficient light, and adjust watering and care routines as needed.
I only overwinter a few things; geraniums, gladiolus, amaryllis and dahlias.
Only the amaryllis and geraniums go under the grow lights for the next year. Gladiolus and dahlias go in a box full of saw dust and wait until spring.

Winterizing your garden is a labor of love that pays off in the form of a healthy garden when spring returns. Yes! That is what I tell myself many times when I would rather be in a warm house looking at my winter garden out of my kitchen window.

Embracing the Season: Enjoying the winter

I use the winter months for sorting, organizing seeds and scouring through colorful seed catalogues. It's always a fun way of waiting for spring to arrive.


When should I start winterizing my garden?

I clean and mulch beds as they are done for the season. The rest of the garden I start winterizing my garden in late fall after the first frost and before the first hard frost.

Can I use any type of mulch for winter protection?

Mulches like straw, wood chips, or leaves are excellent choices for winter protection.

Should I prune evergreen shrubs in winter?

Pruning evergreens, grapes in late winter or early spring is best, because the plants are dormant then.

What vegetables can be left in the ground over winter?

In Zone 6 I only have onions and garlic.

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