Preparing your plants before winter arrives will help ensure they return with plenty of vigour come spring. All your plants should receive some pre winter care whether you’re dealing with trees, grass, annuals or perennials. To help educate you on how to prepare your plants for cold weather, we’ve put together this article.
As winter approaches your lawn will stop growing so quickly, but you’ll still want to ensure one last mowing before the snow falls. After raking up any leaves, trim your lawn to just under an inch in length. Now is also the time to thatch, aerate and apply any fertilizer.
If you want to keep annuals for next year, now is the time to harvest seeds, dig up bulbs or take cuttings and continue to propagate them indoors. If you have frost hardy seeds, planting them before winter arrives will lead to an earlier bloom in the spring for your landscaping. Beyond that, trim and clean up any dead plant material and apply a layer of mulch over the soil to inhibit erosion and weed growth.
Perennials simply require some cutting back of any dead stems and leaves. After trimming them back you can apply a thin layer of mulch. Once the ground freezes, rake up this thin layer of mulch and add another thicker layer. This two step mulching approach will prevent rodents from taking interest and burrowing over the winter.
Although seemingly strong and hardy, trees still need to be tended to in preparation for winter. Giving them a good watering before the ground is frozen will help their root systems and prevent the tree from drying out and becoming brittle. If you live in an area with wild animals, you may need to protect young trees from being eaten during the colder months. This can be achieved by wrapping the lower parts of the trunk with chicken wire or other strong netting. While you’re at it, wrap the trunk with burlap or tree warp to protect the bark from the cold. Young trees should also be protected from strong winds and snow drifts by installing wind and/or snow breakers.