Prepare Your Garden for Winter
Ask the Doctor –
Your Source For Lawn Care Tips
Kerry Tai - December 31, 2013

When the days start getting shorter and colder, you may think that your gardening work is done for the year. But there are a few steps you can take to prepare your garden for winter and have it ready to go for next year. Read on to learn about proper winter lawn care and what you can do to prepare your garden for winter:

Continue to harvest some late-autumn vegetables

Did you know that vegetables like carrots, turnips, parsnips, leeks, and radishes can still grow and give you food to eat until early winter? You don’t need to do anything on these items until winter is here.

Pull up annual plants and cut back perennials           

You should pull up plants like tomatoes, peas, beans and squash plants, and compost them if they are healthy. If you see any signs of disease, throw the plants away instead. Cut back perennials so that they are ready for next year.

Plant new perennials in the fall

You may be able to get some end of season deals on perennials in the fall that could work well for you in the next year. Granted, you will not get any use out of the plants now, but they could have a great harvest for you next season. Just be sure to cut them back before winter comes.

Get rid of weeds and pests

You want to pull any weeds, to make sure that they do not continue to encroach on your garden, and continue their path of destruction. Now is also a good time to get rid of any insects lurking around – a good way is by tilling the soil to expose any pests.

Don’t leave leaves on your garden

It is not a good idea to keep leaves on your garden in winter. Instead, either move the leaves to your compost pile, or run them over with your lawn mower to be turned into mulch.

Empty containers

Outdoor gardening containers, like for specific plants, may crack if left outside in the winter. So make sure to empty them now, so they will stay nice for next year.

Figure out what you want your garden to be next year

Now is a good time to dream of what you would like your garden to be for next year. Think about what went well in your garden – maybe you had a plethora of zucchini – and what did not – you may not have had enough lettuce. Perhaps you want to have more herbs in your garden.  Or perhaps you would like flowers to surround the vegetables. Now is the time to peruse seed catalogs, read up on great plants for your climate, and consider what you may want to plant next year. You can have some great seeds ready to go for planting early next year.

Protect the garden with mulch or a cover crop

You have several options here – covering the garden with mulch for the winter, or planting a cover crop like winter rye or red clover. This will protect your garden during the winter cold and poor weather conditions.

Talk with your Lawn Doctor professional

Your Lawn Doctor lawn care professional can give you some tips on winter lawn care and how to make your garden grow, year after year. Ask to learn more.

Before you know it, spring will be here, and your garden will be growing again. Why not prepare it now for a great 2014?