It is with a heavy heart that I write today’s post.
The time that we have all been dreading has arrived in Southwestern Ontario…
the first frost is upon us.
Which means, no matter how much we’d like to ignore it, it’s time to prep your gardens for winter.
I did some research on what needs to be done (my thumb is less than green) and based on several articles – I’ve come up with a list (don’t worry, it’s a short one)
1. Pull out all annuals
2. Cut back ornamental grasses and hostas. There are also instructions online as to the proper way to cut back roses and clematis – but it’s fairly involved so I didn’t cover it here.
3. Make sure your evergreens are heavily watered. It’s this moisture that is going to help prevent wind burn on the leaves over the winter.
4. Protect green-leaved plants with burlap wraps. This includes cedars as well as boxwoods. This will help keep bushes from spreading under the weight of the snow and protect the limbs from windburn
5. Remove all veggies from your vegetable garden (except those that will come back next spring (blueberries, raspberries and some strawberries etc)
6. Weed your garden beds and throw the weeds into the garbage or leaf pick up bags – you don’t want these mixed in with the ‘good’ mulch you’re about to make.
7. If you have a mulching mower, mow over all of the plants you’ve just pulled out and bag it.
8. Once the ground freezes, pour this mulch over your beds to add nutrients to the soil and to protect shallow roots. Having this mulch over top creates sort of a shelter for the roots – keeping moisture in.
The reason for waiting for the ground to freeze first is because if you do it before then, little critters will burrow in the garden and make nests underneath – not good.
9. Turn over any items that will collect water (like bird baths) and bring out your Christmas decorations. Okay, I added that last bit in, but I love these metal trees and the garden looks so empty without anything in it.
10. Put away all patio furniture and outdoor decor and weep for the sparceness of it all.
There is an upside to all of this:
time to bring out the pumpkins!
and maybe a few decorations;
Don’t forget to flush your outdoor water pipes and put garden hoses away as well!
Have a great one!