Planning for cold weather is important to the survival and vitality of your plants in the spring. Some of you may have already started this process, but there is still time for those of you who haven’t. Diagnosis of ailments for treatment, clearing of debris and planting bulbs are all part of winter weather preparation. Here are some important tips to properly prepare your yard and garden for the frigid season.
- Proper treatment of diseases requires notation of symptoms, so jot down specific notes for all your plants that suffered from diseases and discoloration.
- Also make note of the plants, shrubs and trees that flourished during the spring and summer.
- Cover your tomatoes with a blanket or sheet to help protect them while they are still producing tomatoes in the fall. If using plastic to protect your tomatoes, make sure the plastic is not touching the plant. Frost will transfer through plastic and damage your plants.
- Clear any of the plants that died to make room for new bulbs. Consider including the dead plant material in your compost instead of discarding it.
- Begin digging up weeds and checking for cold weather weeds that need control product applied.
- Remove and clear areas under your shrubs, trees and roses to improve air flow to your plants. Dead leaves and debris will pack down around your plants with snow fall. This environment breeds disease and mold due to a lack of air flow. Considering clearing the debris and shredding it for use as winter mulch.
- Continue mowing your lawn until the frost develops. This also promotes air flow and prevents the tall grass from lying over and suffocating under the snow pack. Only cut the grass down to 2 – 2 ½ inches.
- Apply fertilizers and nutrients to revitalize your lawn before winter. Phosphorus improves the root system; slow release nitrogen helps to prevent disease and keeps your lawn green; and potassium will help to protect your lawn from freezing cold temperatures.
- Once your flower beds and garden are cleared of dead plants, leaves and debris, you can begin planting new bulbs for spring. Many people plant tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, muscari, crocuses, peonies, daylilies, hostas and coral bells.
- Mulch around your newly planted bulbs, your roses and trees to provide insulation to your soil during the winter. Mulching helps to reduce sudden temperature changes in your soil.
- Clean your gardening tools and clear your hoses and sprinkler systems to prevent freezing. Winterize your lawn mower and other motorized landscaping tools.
Proper care and preparation for winter will give your lawn and garden the boost it needs to flourish when spring comes around. Talk to your local Adams Gardens expert for more advice and winterizing product suggestions.