Opinion

Preparing your garden for winter protection

By Joe Machcinski

With winter around the corner, protecting your plants is very important.

Whether it’s trees and shrubs, the lawn or potted plants, a few simple steps will help guide you in the right directions.

I like to use leaves as mulch in my garden beds. First, go through the beds cutting back and tidying up. If you have hostas and daylilies or anything else that slimes, cut them back. The slugs like to gravitate to these plants.

Mulching with leaves is a great way to protect your plants from frost and cut back on the chore of weeding. There are plenty of leaves out there so finding some will not be hard.

Small leaves can be scattered on the surface to the depth of a couple inches. If you have bigger leaves run a mower over them to chop it up and then put them in the beds. If you would like to make a flower bed, pile the leaves in the area you would like to create the bed. By spring, the grass underneath will start to die out and by bringing in some garden soil it will be a lot easier to plant.

We’re getting closer to time for the last mowing of the lawn.

I like to cut a little shorter and spread a light dusting of fish compost.

Any potted plants should be protected from frost. If you can, move the pots close to the house or in a protected area. Any annuals should be discarded and the soil taken out.

I like to just compost the old soil and in spring after the pot’s been cleaned out fresh soil should be used.

And finally, for your trees and shrubs hold off on doing major pruning. If frost is in the forecast protecting the roots is important.

The premise is to keep frost from invading the leaves and tissue of the plant. In most cases the plant takes care of itself.

Happy Gardening.

You can reach Joe at besthands@aol.com.

 

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