Getting Ready for Winter
August 28, 2012
It’s time to start thinking about winter. Yes, that’s what I said. Winter! You remember that season when temperatures plunge to the opposite extreme from what we’ve been experiencing lately. The season when white stuff falls from the sky instead of rain (I’m talking about snow of course). It’s also the season when your garden sleeps and gathers its energy for next spring’s growth.
There are several things to do to get your garden ready for its winter nap. This also makes the spring planting much easier. First, clear out any dead vegetation. This can be added to the compost heap unless it is diseased. Next, do a final weeding of your garden area. Add these weeds to the compost heap also, except those that have seeds. You don’t want them sprouting in the garden next spring. Third, add a layer of compost and organic matter to your garden and work into the top layer of soil. As this material decomposes, it will add important nutrients to the ground to feed next year’s planting.
Another thing you can do is ensure that your perennials have plenty of mulch to safely weather the winter extremes. It is best to add this final mulch after a hard freeze. The mulch helps moderate the winter temperatures and keeps plants from "heaving" or being thrust out of the ground by alternating freezing and thawing. All those leaves in your yard will make the perfect winter mulch for your plants. Just run over them with a lawnmower to shred them so they won’t blow away in the wind.
Also, if you have woody shrubs or trees that you want to plant or move, fall is the perfect time to do so. They will still have plenty of time to grow strong root systems before winter sets in. Just make sure to keep them watered if there is inadequate rain. Also, remember to water your perennials during the winter if there isn’t much snow or rain. Now, you can sit back with all those gardening books you’ve been wanting to read and relax.
Lee's Summit Branch