03 Jun 2016

When we think of gardening, we think of the spring and summer. Gardening means spending time outside and working with our hands to create something beautiful, and in many cases, edible.

hoverwhile we might not have as much work to do when the weather turns cold, that doesn’t mean that your garden stops existing.

When we think of gardening, we think of the spring and summer. Gardening means spending time outside and working with our hands to create something beautiful, and in many cases, edible. However, while we might not have as much work to do when the weather turns cold, that doesn’t mean that your garden stops existing. It’s important that your garden is ready for the winter, and that work must be done before the frost kicks in. Here’s how to prepare your garden for winter.

MULCH

With the onset of frosty nights and damp mornings, your garden might seem to be sitting idle, but in fact there is still a lot happening that you can’t see. Much of the mulch that you’ve laid in the summer is probably gone, so it’s important to replenish it to provide nutrients for the winter. This will keep the roots of your plants and trees warmer, and prevent them from experiencing shocking temperature changes as well. The mulch will help prevent weed growth, and is looser so that what weeds do come, you’ll be able to remove them more easily.

WEEDS

Speaking of weeds, it’s important to get rid of any weeds you can see before the winter comes. They may seem to die off when the frost sets in, but they’ll just be seeding to return with a vengeance in the spring. Pull up all the weeds, and treat your garden with a chemical weed killer. Then make sure to weed throughout the winter if you see any.

LAWN

Your lawn can use some TLC before the winter as well, to make sure that it comes back bright and beautiful after the cold. Aerate your lawn thoroughly when the fall comes. This will give it good drainage to take advantage of the rains that usually come in the cooler months. It will also give your lawn a lift after being tamped down throughout the summer. After aerating, seed it well so that it’s ready to go and activates in the spring.

BULBS

Much like the grass, it’s a good idea to plant some spring bulbs in the fall. If you’ve put down the mulch, they’ll stay warm and look great when the spring comes. You’ll be the envy of the neighbourhood when you’ve got some colour in your garden before anyone else.

PRUNING

Pruning is an important part of the life cycle of many flowers and plants, and it’s especially important before the winter. It creates space for new life to grow. Prune your roses and hydrangeas very close. With some space, you’ll be able to see where plants need to be replaced, and many can even be planted before the frost.

IN THE VEGETABLE PATCH

Clear away all the vegetable plants that won’t be producing during the winter. Then, turn over the soil to mix up the nutrients, and put down the mulch. In some climates, you’ll be able to plant some heartier root vegetables. This is great to do because it will keep your soil active during the chill. Along with root veggies like potatoes and squash, cabbage and lettuce should also thrive in most climates. Since the air is cold, they’ll need to be located in the sun to provide as much warmth as possible. It would be even better if there is something to block the cold winds as well.

SPRUCE UP YOUR EQUIPMENT

Before you pack them away for the winter, make sure your equipment is in good shape. If the lawn mower or weed trimmer need repairs, you should get those done now, so that they’ll be ready when the thaw comes. Clean all of your tools and inspect them for damage. There are often sales on gardening equipment at this time of year, so if you need anything new, why not buy it and have it ready to go?

COLOUR YOUR WORLD

Winter is cold and dreary, and it can be sad to see your garden is a state of inactivity. Why not create a splash of colour to give it some life? Pansies and violas can stand the cooler temperatures, so plant some or put out some pots to give your garden some pop.

CLEAN UP

Brush all the dirt and dust from your pathways, and give them a good rinsing. Rake away all the leaves as they accumulate in the fall, and clear up and brush any that has found its way into your garden or onto your lawn. Place it all in compost to fuel your plants in the spring. Make sure that everything is neat and tidy so you’ll have less of that type of work to do when you want to get down to gardening work.

Just because winter is coming doesn’t mean the work is winding down. Get the most out of your garden in the wintertime by properly preparing.