Guidelines for Winterizing Your Garden
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Taking the proper steps to winterize your garden helps your plants survive the frigid temperatures that occur in many parts of the U.S. during the colder months. The precautions you take in fall and winter will help your garden flourish in the spring. So save time and money by following these guidelines to protect your garden.
Closing Down Your Garden
Before you begin your plan to winterize your garden, find out which USDA zone you live in. This will tell you when to expect the first frost and freeze dates. In turn, this will help you devise a plan of action to protect your precious garden from Old Man Winter.
Begin by cleaning up your garden. For example, remove any plant debris that could harbor diseases and pests. Clear away annual vegetables and flowers. Remove dead perennial foliage as well as weeds and plants you don’t want in your garden, then add a thick layer of fresh mulch to protect the soil and remaining plants during the winter months.
Bring any tropical or semi-tropical potted plants into your home. Once the temperature drops to 25 degrees, those tender plants can die, not to mention that ccy temperatures may cause clay pots to crack.
Don’t forget to provide your garden tools loving caring so they’ll be tip top next spring. Scrape off any soil, and if you decide to wash them with water, dry them thoroughly. Try to avoid storing your tools in an area where they might get damp during the winter months. Your goal is prevent rust and weather exposure. Are your cutting blades getting a bit dull? Use a sharpening file specifically made for gardening equipment.
Help Honeybees Out for Winter
If you live in areas of the country where it gets cold in the winter, take steps to help out the honeybees. Winter is the most difficult time for these kinds of insects, and they need all their resources to survive the cold. To help them stay alive, don’t harvest honey from their hives -- one hive needs around 40 to 60 pounds of honey in order to withstand the cold in most locations.
Don’t spray your garden with chemical pesticides. Not only do they kill the insects you don’t want, but they also kill the ones you do want, like honey bees, and pesticides also penetrate your soil, flowers and vegetables.
To help feed the honey bees this late in the year, be sure to add cool weather pollinator plants to your garden. Plants that are tough enough to grow in cold temperatures offer bees flowers during the winter, and these plants grow from October to May. The right plants will be pleasing to the eye, flourish in your climate, attract local insects and wildlife, and won’t take too much time to maintain.
Yes, your garden is beautiful, but it’s important to preserve its loveliness. Take steps to winterize your plants so they survive a harsh winter and can rebloom in the spring. A little extra effort can enhance your garden for the season and help the honey bees manage the seasonal change too! With a bit of advance planning and work, you’ll ensure your garden reawakens during the warmer months and you’ll enjoy the fruits of your labor!.