By: Jennifer LaMontagne – Horticulturist – Bloch’s Farm – Green Lake, WI
As fall temperatures continue to drop, winterizing your outdoor spaces becomes the task at hand. Cleaning up around your garden can go a long way toward preventing disease and pest outbreaks the following year, and there are many other landscaping ideas you can take into consideration with winter just around the corner.
Remove all weeds now as they can harbor a lot of diseases and insects. After perennials die back from a hard frost they can be trimmed down. Leftover plant debris can be tilled under to decay and enrich the soil, or it can be placed in a compost pile. Composting is normally a great way to deal with garden debris and autumn leaves. Adding composted organic material to flower beds at this time supports healthy soil and plants.
Cover less hardy plants with leaves, mulch, burlap, or Styrofoam cones to protect them throughout the winter. Add another layer of mulch on perennial beds, trees, and shrubs. Once your perennials are cut down and all plant debris is removed it’s easy to add mulch. Mulch insulates the soil, protecting plant roots from temperature fluctuations. It also hampers early spring weeds taking hold in the garden.
Water all newly planted trees, shrubs, and perennials up until the ground freezes. Plants need to be moist going into the winter. Put on tree wraps, fencing, netting or green screen repellant bags now to prevent deer and rabbit damage throughout the winter. Make sure tree wraps go all the way up so no trunk is showing.
Clean out and disinfect garden pots and tools, so they will be ready for next season. Bleach wipes work well for cleaning tools, and pots may be dipped in a bleach and hot water solution. Bring garden pots indoors to protect them. Drain and store garden hoses in a garage or shed. Unheated birdbaths can be brought indoors or tipped upside down so that water does not collect, freeze, and cause damage. To keep thirsty birds happy all winter, purchase a heated birdbath or insert a heated ring to keep the water from freezing. See to proper storage of seeds, fertilizer, and any other garden chemicals. A cool, dry, dark place in a locked cabinet or high shelf is best.
Bloch’s Farm carries all the tools you need to get your garden winterizing done. Check out our great selection of trees, shrubs, perennials, mums, and bulbs that are still available before we close for the season! Call 920-294-6000 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. Visit our website online at www.blochsfarm.com and our Facebook page.