How to prepare garden for winter

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how to prepare garden for winter

Winter is approaching and you know it’s time to prepare your garden for the change in seasons. But what should you do? How do you prepare your garden for winter?

In this blog, I share some great tips for preparing your garden so that it survives winter and leaves you with less work to do in spring.

How to prepare garden for winter

Here’s a quick summary of things you should be doing to prepare your garden for winter:

-Do a final harvest of your summer fruits and vegetables

-Deadhead flowers and remove old blooms

-Rake leaves

-Trim trees

-Pull out weeds especially in hard-to-reach places

-Protect plants that cannot handle frost or snow

-Final repair your lawn

Do a final harvest of fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables like tomatoes tend to grow well into autumn and sometimes hang around in early winter.

Before winter sets in, it’s a great idea to pick those fruits and vegetables before they go off or moldy from damp, cold weather.

Remove plants whose vegetables you’ve picked and place the plants either in your mulch or your garden recycling bin if you have one.

Check your fruit trees to see if there are any lingering fruits especially towards the top of the tree. I find our peach tree has half-eaten fruits near the top thanks to the birds, and if I don’t pick these off they end up falling to the ground and rotting away, attracting animals such as birds, possums and even mice!

Deadhead flowers and remove old blooms

When thinking about how to prepare garden for winter, roses and other flowering plants need to be maintained before winter sets in.

It’s a good idea to do this regularly, especially for roses. Any roses that have already bloomed and fallen off, I deadhead. I trim the branches just above the first group of 5 leaves.

If there are any leaves on your roses with black spot or mildew, cut these off. 

In terms of trimming your roses bushes right back, I don’t do this each year because some years I have found the roses struggling to grow back. So if there are any new buds forming even though winter is approaching, I just leave them.

Rake leaves

If you live in an area with lots of deciduous trees, then autumn is a beautiful time full of colorful leaves.

But this also means falling leaves and lots of mess!

Rake your leaves regularly during autumn (especially late autumn) because with winter approaching and wet or snowy weather, the leaves can rot away and leave you with a huge mess that’s difficult to clean up during winter and spring.

Trim trees

Winter is a time for rest for your fruit trees. At the very end of autumn, it’s a good idea to trim back some of the branches on the fruit trees especially new growth in awkward places.

By trimming your fruit trees, you are helping your trees focus energy on the branches that remain. Keep lots of new growth means that the trees need to focus more energy on growing leaves on these new branches instead of using that energy on the older, hardier growth and fruit.

It’s like a haircut- when you trim your trees and bushes they will thrive and grow even more!

Pull out weeds especially in hard to reach places

Pulling out weeds before winter begins means that you won’t need to deal with a huge mess when spring arrives.

Weeds grow during any time of the year, which is why when you’re planning how to prepare garden before winter, weeding should be near the top of your to-do list!

Not pulling out weeds before winter means that they will grow fast during winter and you may not find a nice day to go out there and weed in the middle of the season.

It’s much easier for you to do your weeding before winter arrives, especially weeds that grow in hard to reach places.

Protect plants that cannot handle frost or snow

Any warm weather pot plants that don’t cope in frost or snow should be placed somewhere undercover or in a weather-proof part of your yard.

This will prevent them from becoming damaged or dying. 

Do a final repair of your lawn

This step should ideally be done at the end of summer or start of autumn.

Any damaged section of your lawn should be repaired before winter. If not, you could end up with muddy patches or a muddy trail if you have a pet dog!

Mow your lawn one last time before winter sets in.

One final word

This blog about how to prepare garden for winter should give you some great ideas on what you need to do next time you’re in your garden before winter.

You may not think much needs to be done in your garden during winter, but if you don’t prepare your garden for winter then you’ll be faced with a lot of work to do come spring.

A bit of planning and preparation of your garden during autumn will help your garden be ready for the cold months in winter so that when spring arrives, you can focus on the fun gardening tasks instead of doing those things you didn’t do before winter!