Winterize your Garden

    • Spray citrus and other tender plants with Cloud Cover to give them some protection from frosts.
    • Enjoy birds in your garden by hanging bird feeders around the yard. You’ll see many different kinds as they migrate through this fall.
    • Mulch asparagus beds with three inches of well-rotted manure.
    • Empty birdbaths and fountains and cover them for the winter, to prevent water freezing and cracking the bowls.
    • Cover vegetable plants with bird netting to keep quail and other birds away.

Winterize your Garden
Put your yard and garden to bed for a long winter’s nap.

Chilly mornings, football Friday nights, and falling leaves signal autumn’s arrival. This time of year also calls for end-of-the-season yard work. Wrap up your growing season by tending to tasks such as leaf raking, composting and bulb planting.

Begin your cleanup by clearing leaves from gutters, grass, driveways, and shrubs. To remove freshly fallen leaves, take action with your tool of choice: rake, blower/vac, or mower. You can run over leaves with your lawn mower, and let the chopped leaves lie to give your lawn a free dose of nitrogen. Or use a bag attachment to collect shredded leaves for mulch or composting. Time your leaf work before a rain; wet leaves clump and clog tools.

Start a compost pile with the chopped leaves. Begin by blending a few shovelfuls of topsoil into your leaf pile. Cover the pile with a tarp and let it sit. By spring, you’ll have a nice batch of compost.

Clip stalks on perennials to 3 inches after a hard freeze. Leave stalks with attractive seed heads for winter interest.

Autumn is a great time to dig up plants you know aren’t going to make it through the winter, like geraniums, and plant them in pots. Then bring them indoors for the winter.

This is not the time for pruning or fertilizing, which can stimulate new growth. Plants which are not particularly hardy may be damaged or die during the winter months if pruned now.

Lavenders, sages and other woody herbs will be much happier if you wait until spring. In spring, plants are actively growing and have the strength to readily replace what you trim. You can cut off dead or diseased branches now, as long as it’s not to the point of pruning.

Cover garden beds with several inches of compost before winter to help nutrients absorb into the soil. This will ready your beds for spring planting.

Fragile tubers such as dahlias and begonias should be dug up and put in a plastic bag with vermiculite or peat moss in a dark, cool, dry place. Check the bulbs monthly and if the environment around them is moist, cut slits in the bag to let air in. They’ll be ready and waiting for you to plant next spring.

Autumn is the time when spring-blooming bulbs like tulips, daffodils and hyacinths should be planted. They need to be in the cool ground for several months, to develop roots and prepare for their spring appearance.

This is also a good time to plant trees and evergreens so they can establish their roots over the winter and be ready to take off and grow next spring.

Don’t let the nice days of fall go buy without getting some of these gardening jobs done.

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