Woke up to find the garden covered in dying leaves already? Take that as a hint from nature to start preparing your garden for winter now.
Collect dying plants
Pull out plants that show signs of disease or insect problems. Do not let them proliferate in your yard throughout the winter. Make sure to put them in a bag and disposed properly.
Trim the perennials.
Trim your perennials. Leave them only at least 4-6 inches tall. Do this before is become really chilly. Let the plants store enough for winter before cutting back.
Get rid of slimy leaves.
Pick up leaves that have become slimy or matted after the hard chill. Pests and microorganisms love the slimy surfaces. Don’t give them a home in your garden.
Leave standing plants alone.
Plants such as sunflowers, thistles and coneflowers remain standing during frosty days. Just let them because they provide food and refuge to butterflies.
Use the compost.
Enrich the soil in your garden by covering it with compost. Compost provides nutrient supply and prevents the soil from over drying due to extreme cold.
The compost may be made up of degraded food waste, dead leaves and twigs, straws and even manure.
Take it down a bit with winter protection.
Lay down the much just when it is really starting to get cold. If you set the layer while there’s still sun, pests might turn it into their own winter sanctuary. They will feed on the mulch at the same time.
Get your spring bulbs ready.
Garlic, daffodils and tulips should be planted during autumn. Plant each bulb at a depth that is 3x its height. Although the bulbs won’t need water, it is still advised to pour some on the soil before winter.
Re-use the greens.
Instead of throwing the fallen leaves into the garbage bin, add them to your compost. You can use the compost next season.
Some vegetables love the cold.
Wait a little more before harvesting Brussels sprouts, broccoli and kale. The cold temperature enhances the taste of these veggies.
Store your gardening tools.
Clean your gardening tools to prevent them damage and any safety hazard. Put them away in a location that can’t be accessed by children.