With the chance of an Indian summer fleeting with each passing day, the time has arrived for homeowners to prepare for the onslaught of winter. From blustery rainy days to frigid temperatures, winter can wreak havoc on gardens.
Although winter remains a couple of months away, you need to implement several steps to ensure their gardens return to life next spring.
Harvest All Vegetables
Dead vegetables attract birds, rodents, and other lovers of healthy foods. Even when you find a less than edible vegetable rotting, you must remove the remains of the once healthy vegetable to prevent the invasion of unwanted guests. You can also double dig your vegetable patch to intersperse soil nutrients in preparation for next year’s fruit and vegetable seed planting.
Organize and Store Garden Tools
Do it yourself homeowners that tend to gardens also tend to leave garden tools hanging around the garden throughout winter. The result of garden tool negligence is a huge dip into the garden budget to replace the tools. Rust and other maladies render once functional garden tools into a bunch of worthless home improvement tools. Remove mud and dirt from garden tools, as well as lubricate tool blades by applying vegetable oil.
Take Care of the Lawn
Before a strong run of below freezing temperature days, make sure to prepare your lawn for the long, cold winter. Not only do you need to cut the grass one more time, the days before winter also offer you an excellent opportunity to set fresh turf over barren sections of your lawn. Use an adjustable lawn rake to clear leaves and avoid damaging the freshly laid turf. Store raked leaves in a compost pile for use as mulch during the spring planting. Pre-winter lawn care also involves an extended watering for the soil to have for use after the winter thaw.
Give Trees and Hedges a Good Trimming
Winter often brings strong winds that knock down dangling tree branches. In addition to the unwanted debris on your lawn, you also might have to contend with branches that cause damage to your home. Even worse, errant tree branches can take down utility lines. Remove overgrown and criss crossing branches from hedges to encourage new growth once spring returns to your garden.
Warmth is Your Garden’s Best Friend
Your garden doesn’t have to go through winter iced over by frigid temperatures. Fire pits and patio heaters do a great job of not only preserving garden soil, the home improvement equipment also extends the life of a garden after the first frost covers your plants, flowers, and vegetables. Homeowners that want gardens to thrive deep into autumn must have a way to maintain soil warmth.
Prepare Your Greenhouse
Homeowners that care for gardens typically need to move vulnerable plants to a greenhouse for preservation during the winter months. Before you take care of tender plants that succumb to the first hints of winter, prepare your greenhouse by cleaning out plants and materials you don’t plan to use next spring. Insulate your greenhouse by running bubble wrap around the interior of the structure.
Organize Plant Seeds
Taking care of a garden requires daily attention that prompts many homeowners to neglect the little things, such as organizing plant seeds. Small packets of seeds lie opened on tables and workbenches throughout the growing season. How to get your garden ready for winter requires homeowners to reorganize plant seeds. If you haven’t established an organized plant seed inventory, the onset of winter represents the perfect time to store seeds in protective units.
Protect Open Water Sources
Leaves that fall during autumn tend to collect on the surfaces of water sources, from ponds to birdbaths. Before winter hits, take time to remove leaves from all open sources of water on your property. Attach a fine mesh net over the open sources of water and make sure the net fastens tight to prevent wildlife from entering the water sources. Metal garden pegs represent the best option for securing a mesh net into the ground.
Preserve Your Deck
The accumulation of moisture over the winter rots wooden deck furniture. Corrosion comes into play by damaging metallic pieces of garden furniture. Remove vulnerable deck and garden furniture and store the furniture in a dry location, preferably in a garage. Apply a thorough cleaning of your garden deck by using a pressure washer to remove moss and debris. Decking oil does an excellent job of preserving wooden deck boards during the harshest of winters.
Plan the Spring Planting
All of the steps that you take to prepare your garden for next spring mostly involve preservation measures. However, savvy do it yourself homeowners take the time before winter to plan for the next spring planting. You might want to interchange fruits and vegetables or add plants that diversify your garden. The best time to plan for the next spring planting is long before the official start of spring.