Thursday, November 29, 2012

Time to winterize your garden

Before calling it quits on this year's gardening season there are a few more things that should be done to ensure plants make it through the winter. Remove any debris in your garden, including dead leaves, sticks and twigs and plant tags from annual bedding plants. Cut back dead growth on perennials. These activities will prepare your garden and flower beds for planting and new growth next spring. This will also prevent pests and diseases from overwintering on rotting foliage. Be sure to discard any diseased leaves and don't add them to the compost pile.
Remove fallen leaves from lawns. If the grass is still green underneath, it can use all the light available to prepare for winter. Removing leaves also allows water and air to reach the grass. Heavier, thick leaves can pack down and rot slowly. These leaves do not make good mulch for perennials and should be removed from perennial beds.  Place some type of loose organic mulch around shrubs, trees and perennial beds. The mulch helps protect roots from winter's cold and fluctuating temperatures. Don't use more than a few inches of mulch around trees and shrubs. If packed too thick around tree trunks, mulch can smother the trees and cause them to die.
Placing mulch around shrubs, trees and perennial beds helps
protect roots  from winter's cold and fluctuating temperatures.

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