Fall is almost a thing of the past and winter is right around the corner. There are several things to do outside in the yard and in the garden to prepare for winter. Some things are a must; others will make next years gardening easier or more productive. Here is a check list to follow;
Water evergreens, trees and perennials before the ground freezes. This step is often overlooked and many home owners assume the plants, trees and shrubs will receive water from the snow that falls. This isn’t always the case so be safe rather than sorry and water heavily before winter sets in.
Mulch after the ground freezes to prevent heaving. Heaving is what happens when the ground freezes then thaws, then freezes again. This isn’t good for the plants and shrubs but wait until the ground is frozen before adding mulch around perennials and trees.
Disconnect and drain the garden hose, coil it up and place in the cellar, garage or storage building for the winter.
Protect any newly planted or young trees with burlap to protect from harsh winds and damaging snow. Also if you live in an area frequented by deer you might want to protect young trees with a fence to keep the deer from eating the bark and killing the tree.
Add a couple of inches of straw or hay to the strawberry and asparagus beds. Remember to pull this back in the spring when the temperatures start to rise.
Prune grape vines in the winter. Wait until the temps are down to freezing and winter is here. There is so much to do in the spring and this is one job that can be done now, just don’t do it until the winter freeze has set in.
Evergreens can take a beating during winter months. Protect evergreens with an anti-desiccant spray like Wilt-pruf, to seal in moisture. Give a second coat half way through winter for extra protection. Another option is to wrap the evergreens in burlap, especially in severe winter climates.
Bring outdoor containers indoors for the winter. Some outdoor containers can withstand the winter temperatures and the freezing and thawing. Others crack and break. This is another time an ounce of prevention can save you money.
Clean, sharpen and oil the garden tools. There is an old saying, “Take care of your tools and they will take care of you.” Wash and oil all the tools you use in the garden. Take this opportunity to sharpen any tools that need sharpening. Store them in a safe place where they will be ready to go to work, come spring.
Doing these things now will save money and valuable time in the spring.