Preparing a garden for winter is a necessary activity that helps your plants survive the winter with dignity and delight you with their healthy and high-quality growth throughout the next year. But where to start, and what does this preparation involve? We have prepared useful garden tips for winter for you, so you know where to start and what to do. Let’s find out how to prepare a garden for winter.
How to Get the Garden Ready for Winter
Surely, getting your garden ready for winter starts with cleaning. Gather the leaves with a rake. If your trees and shrubs have not been affected by diseases and pests, send foliage to a compost heap or beds, use it as mulch for wintering flowers. But keep in mind: leaves infected with powdery mildew, a scab, and other diseases are not suitable for this. Take them off-site and burn them.
Amend Your Soil for Spring
Even though most people think of adding soil amendments like manure and compost in the spring, October is a perfect season to use organic fertilizers like bone meal, kelp, and rock phosphate. Adding fertilizers at this time of year gives them time to break down, replenish their soil, and become biologically active in most climes.
When you amend the soil now, you’ll have already completed some of the labor when the busiest season arrives. To prevent winter rains from washing the amendments below the active root zone, mulch your soil or grow a cover crop. This is especially important for raised beds, which drain more quickly than in-ground beds. Early in the spring, before fresh planting, remove the mulch.
What to Do with Plants in the Winter
Don’t forget about preparing plants for winter. While many wasted plants may be left to decompose and give nutrients to the soil, others may be infected with disease, pests, or fungi. If you observed any illness symptoms throughout the growing season but didn’t have time to respond, now is the time to do so. If you leave the remains of your wasted crops in the site during the winter, they would safeguard the soil and reduce erosion. They can also provide a haven for pollinators overwintering.
Tools Should Be Cleaned and Sharpened
Our list of tips for preparing your garden for winter includes this rather significant point that not all gardeners pay attention to. Although most gardeners are aware that they should keep their equipment clean and properly oiled throughout the year, it can be difficult to do so when the season is in full flow. Fall is an excellent time to extend the life of your instruments by giving them some care.
To remove dirt and debris from tools, start by washing them. Remove rust using sandpaper or a wire brush if it is present. A basic mill file may be used to sharpen hoes and shovels. Pruners can be sharpened with a whetstone.
Finally, use an oiled cloth dipped in mild machine oil to massage the surfaces of your equipment. This will help to protect the metal from oxygen and improve the life of your tools by a year.
Pruning Fruit Trees
The most important stage in preparing the garden for winter is pruning fruit trees and berry bushes, which must be carried out in dry weather and always before the onset of stable frosts. Remember! The air temperature during the procedure should not fall below -10 °C, since at lower temperatures the wood becomes very fragile.
First, fruit trees need to be cleaned of dry, broken, and diseased branches. It is also advisable not to leave branches growing inside the crown of the tree. When cutting offshoots, remember: the cut should be even, as smooth as possible, there should be no bark scuffs on it. Keep in mind that a humid environment is ideal for the reproduction of spores of woody fungi, which is why fresh sections must be spotless and processed.
Preparing Fruit Bushes for Winter
Sanitary pruning of shrubs is carried out. Last year’s trunks are cut out at the root and young shoots of the current year are left, on which fruits will be tied next season. The soil around the bushes is loosened, fertilized with organic or mineral phosphorus-potassium fertilizers, and water-charging irrigation is also carried out. The trunks of seedlings up to three years old for the winter can be wrapped in a polypropylene cover. It is advisable to tie raspberries and blackberries into bunches and bend them to the ground, securing them with wire pins, which will increase their resistance to sharp gusts of wind and make it possible, if necessary, to wrap them up with non-woven material at the threat of severe frosts or icing.
Cover Crops Should Be Planted
Late summer or early fall is a suitable time to sow cover crops like rye, vetch, or clover in many regions. These crops aid in soil erosion prevention, break up compacted regions and enhance organic matter levels in garden beds. Cover crops also contribute nutrients to your soil, while also assisting in the removal of carbon from the environment.
Planting legumes like clover or field peas in your garden can help improve the amount of nitrogen available to your garden plants. While it’s a good rule of thumb to sow cover crops about a month before the first deadly frost, certain cover crops are hardier than others. To choose the finest autumn cover crop for your area, go to your local extension agent or seed dealer.
Preparing Flower Beds for Winter
The most beautiful garden dwellers require the most careful preparation – the flowers that remain to winter in the soil. Plants are pruned, dry leaves and flowers are removed. Afterward, for the prevention of diseases, they are treated with a 3% solution of vitriol. The soil at the base is slightly loosened to a depth of 5 cm. Then, the parts of the flowers remaining above the soil are covered with loose soil or fallen leaves.
Remove any invasive weeds that have sprouted throughout the growing season
Do you recall the bindweed that took over your raspberry patch? Or the Himalayan blackberry creeping on the edges of your garden? It’s now or never to deal with those rogues. Dig them up and throw them away, or bury them with tarps or garden fabric.
Most invasive weeds may survive in a compost heap or weed pile, so avoid the desire to just move them to a different place in your yard. The only method to prevent invasive plants from growing all over again and harming next year’s harvest is to fully remove them. Regardless of the season, gardening should be fun. Plan your gardening so that you have the time and energy to do everything. And our winter garden maintenance tips will help you with this difficult task! And then you will meet the next summer season with healthy plants that have wintered well.
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