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Giving your garden a break

Implementing these 12 tips for winter gardening success

Holly Plant-winter-garden-chores

Holly plant covered in snow

It’s that time of year again as we enter the winter months with snow-covered gardens that let us know that winter is here. This is the time of year when our garden plants go into rest mood from all that hard work during the spring and summer months as they put forth flowers, fruits and all of that other good stuff as we reaped a good harvest from the many hot days that were spent in our gardens.

But before those chilly days sets in and the snow appear there are some things to consider like preparing both ourselves and our gardens as we enter the winter months.

Creating a checklist

Creating a checklist is so important because what we don’t want is to leave anything undone when it comes to ensuring that everything is in place which will make this time of year a lot easier when securing our gardens.

Let’s get started

1. Pruning your plants is good doing this time of the year especially when working with deciduous trees because these trees are stripped of their leaves in the winter but with the coming of spring new leaves emerge. With the tree stripped this will give you a better visual of what to prune. Also, removing overlapping branches from shrubs and trees is so important.

Cutting back your perennials is a must because this will cause your garden plants to go through a rejuvenation period that will help them to produce more foliage (leaves) and fuller bloom come spring. If you have any rose bush it would be good to cut them back at this time also.

Dead branches along with branches that may become a safety and security issue should be removed. A word of caution here if you are dealing with a huge tree and you are not sure what to do or feel unsafe then call in the experts to do the job for you. Safety always comes first so don’t forget that.

2. Outdoor potted plants should be brought indoors the reason for this is you don’t want your nice flowering plants or fruit trees to become a popsicle from the harsh winter. If you need help in removing your potted plants then do so because the last thing you want is to strain or pull a muscle. To avoid injury as we said earlier safety first. What I want to point out here also is the use of a trolly to move your plants around will make your job a lot easier.

3. Keeping your plant roots safe with the help of mulches is an added benefit. Mulches act as insulation protecting your plant’s roots from the freezing ground so consider using mulches to help get your plants through the winter months.

4. You have invested a small fortune in your garden outdoor furniture and the last thing you want is for them to get a beating from the harsh weather. Placing these pieces of furniture in the garage and other areas from the snow is a must. This furniture can be brought outdoors come next spring.

5. We can’t forget the birdies, for those of us who are interested in wildlife, giving them a helping hand during this time of the year will help greatly. Installing or repairing that birdhouse will make our feathered friends so happy. For more on helping wildlife during this time of the year follow this link. How to care for birds in the winter.

Blue Jay-winter-garden-chores

Blue Jay resting in the snow

6. If you have a fence that’s in need of repair, then it is good to repair your fence at this time.

7. Clean up your garden of any debris.

8. This is a great time to gather all of that organic material such as leaves, branches, and other natural organics into a pile so when next springs come you can build a compost pile.

9. Get a jump start on the season by starting seeds indoors.

10. Give your garden plants a good drink of water before the first winter frost.

11. Cleaning and sharpening garden tools are a must when preparing for next spring.

12. Tackle those weeds-weeds can be such an eyesore turning a well-designed garden into a nightmare. Weeds also is a haven for garden insect pests besides encouraging disease and competing with garden plants for nutrients and water. So get rid of those weeds before the frost sets in. For more on weed and weed control navigated to the category section of this website.

Additional information

When working in your garden always go for safety first because many injuries could have been avoided only if persons had put together a plan of action first. In the category section of this website, you will find various topics on garden safety so I encourage you to check it out. I believe you will find something that will help.

A freak accident

Many years ago I worked at a five-star resort as a groundsman, nurseryman, and interior plantscape designer. My then co-worker at the time who was a chemical applicator was making his rounds that morning and then the strangest thing happened to him that would put him on the injury list and would have him out for weeks.

Because he was not wearing the proper footwear he slipped and fell on the lawn and broked his leg. Now, that is what I call a freak accident so it is always good to take the safe route because prevention is better than cure. Just thought I might share that with you to bring to light how we should do our best when it comes to garden safety, even wearing the right footwear for the job is a must.

The final word

Preparing your garden for the winter months doesn’t have to be a task but can be much fun as you get set for this time of the year which will put you way ahead of the game as you get a jump start on the season come next spring making your job a lot easier. So why not consider putting together a list which will help you through the winter months.

These garden tips have proven to be effective as you settle down for the winter. Remember to take the task out of this project and make it fun that will pay off in big ways. So with that said let’s get started on that winter checklist.

One comment

  1. Roy Bretton says:

    Thank you for your excellent blog post-Norman, I’m keen on gardening and the outdoors so I can very much appreciate your various blog posts.

    I actually work in a large garden a couple of days a week which is something I really enjoy and I always find this time of year, providing it is not to wet, a great time to catch up on jobs that have built up over the summer months. It’s also good time of year to prepare for spring as I know that after Christmas here in the UK the days quickly start to get longer and although it’s cold, spring very quickly arrives and it’s important to be ahead of our game!

    Thank you for the very useful checklist, I find that sometimes checklists actually get longer rather than shorter.

    Enjoy your weekend.

    Roy Bretton

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