Around mid-October it's time to start putting your garden to bed by preparing it for the tough winter months. Among the tasks that should be considered include:
This will not only neaten the appearance of your garden, but also protect your plants from winter exposure while promoting lush new growth in the spring.
Prevent harmful weeds from spreading while your garden is dormant by removing them during the fall. It will make your job next spring that much easier!
If any of your shrubs are in an area that will incur a large snow load (such as areas under pitched roofs), erecting a shrub guard can prevent future breaking and snapping from these unexpected "drop-ins". Shrub guards are usually contructed from wood and burlap and create a tent over your precious landscape plants to protect them from the winter elements.
While shrub guards will protect your plants from attacks above, a layer of bark mulch in your garden will protect your garden's root system. One of the most dangerous winter effects to any landscape are frost heaves, which are caused by a fluctuation in winter temperatures that cause the ground to freeze, then thaw, then freeze again. By laying down a layer of mulch in your garden, you create an insulation that will keep your ground at a constant temperature, which your garden's root system will appreciate.
Just because you're putting your garden to bed doesn't mean you can't make some early preparations for next spring! Fall is the best time to plant bulbs. By laying the groundwork now, you'll reap the benefits this spring with beautiful tulips, daffodils and more.