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Prepare garden for winter – With simple steps in the fall to winterize soil and plants.

To help your plants survive the colder months, you should prepare your garden for winter. After all, when temperatures drop, it’s important to respond in time to look forward to healthy plants in the spring. But how can you winterize garden soil, perennials, flowers and vegetables? From covering garden soil to protecting delicate plant varieties, below is some useful information and tips that are sure to make your gardening job easier.

Before you prepare your garden for winter

take important steps and do the necessary garden maintenance in the fall in time for winter

With the preparations you make during the fall season, you should be able to get the garden area ready for spring in the best way possible. If you need motivation to perform the necessary lawn and garden maintenance in the fall , think of all the joys you will enjoy next year.

cover delicate plants with winter protection and prepare fruit or vegetables in the garden for winter

So, to ensure you achieve the same results in the next growing season, take the time to keep your garden area in tip-top shape. In addition, these gardening tasks will give your wildlife and plants a good start once the warm weather returns.

Take care of your lawn first in the fall

use lawn mower and take care of the garden before the winter season

Fall is a crucial time to improve the health of your lawn. You can start by removing weeds using organic methods to minimize competition for available nutrients and water. However, before applying fertilizer or other nutrients to your lawn, perform a soil test to check pH levels. To add the right amount of nutrients or lime to your lawn, you need to know the existing pH of the garden soil and the availability of other essential soil nutrients. Too much or too little of these nutrients or lime can be harmful.

determine the ph value of the garden soil with a soil test and apply fertilizer if necessary

If test results show excessive soil acidity, apply lime according to the amounts recommended by the soil test results. Do this immediately, as its action takes some time to produce results. If your soil is too alkaline, you may need to apply sulfur. In addition, the fall season is a good time to dethatch and aerate your lawn to get nutrients deep into the root zone. Thus, you will also avoid soil compaction. Seed only afterward to rejuvenate the entire lawn or fill in bare spots. Fertilizing encourages root growth and helps the lawn recover from the summer heat while preparing it for the next growing season.

Remove leaves and prepare the garden for winter

use a rake to collect leaves in autumn and prepare the garden for winter

When it comes to removing leaves in the fall, environmentally conscious gardeners tolerate a little messiness for the sake of wildlife. They wait until spring to get this gardening job done. Removing leaves in the fall can destroy overwintering insects and removes insulation for species burrowed in the soil. For example, many ground-nesting bee species rely on leaf litter to survive harsh winter temperatures. In addition, leaf litter helps moths and caterpillars that birds rely on to feed their young pupate in the spring. Millipedes and spiders also use foliage for shelter.

collect autumn leaves in the garden area during the autumn season and compost or reuse them

So before you remove every fallen leaf in the fall, consider the needs of wildlife. However, decide for yourself how much winter clutter you can tolerate in your landscape. If you still want to remove leaves in the fall, you can do so with a tool or rake to collect their leaves and stuff them into lawn waste bags. Here’s another option: before you store your lawn mower for the winter, you can start it with the grass catcher bag attached and run over the leaves to suck them up. To use the fall leaves sustainably , you can gradually add them to your compost pile. You can also use shredded leaves as garden mulch.

Winterize the fruit and vegetable garden

perform last harvest in autumn and remove dried out annual plants from the soil

After you have harvested your last fruits and vegetables for the season, you should remove all plant parts from the garden. If you leave them behind, plant diseases and pests could overwinter on them for the next growing season. You can till your garden soil after removing all annual plants in the fall. While some experts argue that overuse of this machine could do more harm than good, some gardeners rely on small tillers. This makes it easier to control weeds in vegetable gardens.

autumn gardening and lawn care by removing weeds and applying fertilizer

If you are treating the soil in your garden beds in this manner, this is an opportune time to apply lime or fertilizer. This is important if soil tests have shown that the soil pH is too low. It takes several months for the effects of lime to manifest, so applying lime in the spring is too late for plants to benefit.

apply straw blanket on garden beds and overwinter sensitive plants in cold weather

You should also protect the garden soil from the rigors of winter. To do this, plant a cover crop for large beds or simply apply mulch or straw matting, which may be more efficient for smaller beds.

Prepare perennials in the garden for winter

support beneficial insects like butterflies and caterpillars for the birds in the garden and let them overwinter

Cut back perennials that come back year after year in a timely manner. Also, remove any remaining spent leaves and mulch garden beds as part of the end-of-year garden cleanup. Traditionally, this work should be done in the fall when the plants have died and the leaves have browned. However, the latest environmental trend is to wait until spring before nature prunes and cleans up spent perennials for the benefit of wildlife itself.

take care of wild animals such as birds and provide bird food in the garden for the winter season

You can also feed wildlife, such as hedgehogs, and provide them with food and shelter during the harsh winter months. Also consider leaving seed heads of perennial plants as food for birds, keeping hollow stems intact to overwinter beneficial insects and solitary bees, and leaving spent perennial foliage for ground-dwelling wildlife.

mulch perennials and prepare plants in the garden for winter in the fall season

If you can’t tolerate messy perennial beds in the winter, cutting back and cleaning up leaves in the fall won’t provide winter protection for your plants and wildlife. It does, however, mean that your beds will look tidier over the winter and ready for new growth in the spring.

use garden shears to cut back plants in autumn and prepare the garden for winter

In addition, tidying up and mulching go together. It’s best to do both to keep your garden disease-free and well insulated. If you don’t mulch your beds of perennials in the fall, at least you can’t remove spent stems and leaves. They serve as a temporary mulch that provides some winter weather protection for perennial root systems.

Wintering trees and shrubs

in late fall, water shrubs one last time and prepare the garden for winter

To overwinter and protect small deciduous shrubs with brittle branches, you can use a shelter or other type of structure. This will be able to keep the snow off the shrubs after a heavy snowfall. Deciduous shrubs don’t provide much interest in the winter because they shed their leaves, so you won’t lose much visual interest if you cover them. In contrast, evergreen shrubs are the cornerstone of winter landscape aesthetics. It’s best to leave them visible front and center in your landscape. So they don’t need winter protection, you can choose evergreen shrubs that can withstand colder zones.

water evergreen trees or shrubs abundantly in late summer or autumn and winterize them

In addition, trees and large shrubs can be largely overwintered by watering them properly in the fall. Stop watering in early fall, which will encourage trees and shrubs to prepare for winter. Accordingly, this will prevent new growth that will not withstand winter weather. After trees shed their leaves and before the ground freezes, you can do a deep watering for such garden plants. This can be a last bath for them before the cold sets in.