With nights getting colder and days becoming shorter, it’s time to clean up your garden for winter. Here are things that need to be done.
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Dig up all clumps of annuals and dump them.
Continue to weed. When the autumn leaves have dropped, rake them up. Rather than bagging the leaves, buy yourself an electric leaf shredder that will shred your leaves; which can be used as an organic amendment or mulch in your garden.
If you live in a part of the country where bulbs such as cannas and dahlias are not hardy, they should be pulled out of the ground (you can wait until after your first frost to do so). The bulbs should be left out to dry in the sun for a few days before storing them in a cool, dry place; either in a basement or a garage.
Bring all tropical plants in containers indoors before a frost hits. If you are caught by surprise with a wave of cold weather, at least get them under cover with a blanket or into a garage to save the plant material. If your containers are too heavy to move, remove plant material from them. And then wrap the sides and top with bubble-wrap. This will help prevent them from cracking during the winter.
Evergreens can be hit hard with wind and dehydration during the winter. Spray your evergreens with an anti-desiccant such as Wilt-Pruf. It protects evergreens by creating a waxy coating on the needles that holds in the moisture. If you want to do it the old fashioned way, place four stakes around the tree and then roll burlap around the stakes. Cover the top with hay or leaves for extra protection.
Although a lot of people think that watering in the fall is unnecessary, that’s not so. It’s important to give your garden a good, deep watering before a frost moves in. Take special care of your trees and woody bushes with a deep drip hose soaking.
It is important to mulch for the winter; it protects plants from significant temperature changes in the soil. Wait until after the first frost to mulch.
When done with all of your chores, give some attention to your tools. Clean and sharpen them before putting them away for the winter. Remember to drain all hoses and hang in your garage or covered spot in a coiled position. And finally turn off the water faucets that lead out to the garden and then turn on your water spickets outside to make sure that the pipes are free of water. This chore will prevent your pipes from freezing and bursting this winter.
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