Gardening: It’s Time to Winterize

It's that time of year again when my wife starts making trips to the local nursery in attempts to do her best to try and keep her garden alive for spring.  Bags of mulch, lawn fertilizer, burlap, and plenty of recyclable garden bags are all part of the list!  I thought it  might be useful to post some of the basic fall gardening tips that she follows.  Enjoy her top 12!

1. Keep watering plants in the fall until first frost. 

2. Empty all planters and containers of soil.  (Especially in clay containers as water can get in and then expand and crack).

3. Winterize irrigation systems with compressed air to prevent system damage.

4. Plant spring bulbs like daffodils and tulips. (Daffodils should go in earlier rather than later as they require sometime to root before the frost).

5. Drain and store outdoor hoses.

6. Wrap sensitive or young trees and shrubs with burlap.  (Especially sensitive trees like the Honey Locust and Japanese Maple).

7. Apply fertilizer to lawns. (Not to perennials…their growth should be slowed down over the winter)

8. Rake often!  Although cut up leaves make a great winter mulch, leaves left in place and not cut up can block out all important sun.

9. Cut excess perennial growth back.  My wife typically leaves some perennials alone so that the garden has some interest in the winter (hydrangeas, sedum etc).  As well it's a good idea if you don't have time to mulch your perennials to not cut them back as the stalk and leaves will give some over winter protection to the roots.

10. Mulch!

11. Remove all annuals from your garden.  Left in the garden they look fairly ugly as they die and they also provide an ideal living space for disease and pests.

12. Take care of your garden tools.  (Empty gas from the lawn mower, oil tools and put them away).


  1. “This preparedness, examined and inspected by the HSE Nuclear Directorate in ten-yearly safety reviews includes ensuring that protection systems, with appropriate back-up systems, remain robust.”

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