6 Essential Tasks to Prepare your Garden for Winter

Cooler temperatures make autumn a wonderful time to focus on the garden. Crisp, vivid days are easier on both you and your plants and the effort you put into your garden now will provide for additional curb appeal come spring. “A well-maintained garden adds to your property value and increases its marketability,” says Lincoln Thompson, a broker-owner with Royal LePage Gardiner Realty in Fredericton, New Brunswick. “Devoting time this fall to your garden will protect it over the winter and decrease your spring workload.”

Thompson recommends these garden essentials for the winter months:

  1. Divide overgrown perennials and use any separated clumps to fill gaps where you want to see growth next spring.
  2. Distribute seeds from hardy annuals around borders and trouble spots. For smaller varieties or late bloomers, be sure to label so you remember not to weed them out next year.
  3. Visit your local garden centre to shop for perennial bargains and continue watering your freshly planted finds right up until the first frost. While plants enter a state of hibernation in the winter, watering right up until the first frost is crucial for any new additions to your garden.
  4. Consider leaving perennials you may otherwise thought about cutting back. Although some perennials may lose their aesthetic appeal over the winter, there are many varieties that maintain their beauty. Ornamental grasses, for example, provide texture in the snow during the winter months. Resist the urge to cut back everything.
  5. Weed throughout your garden beds and spread a six inch layer of winter mulch to shield your plants against the cold. It’s best to wait for the coolest fall temperatures before spreading mulch.

Once this work is complete, you can take comfort in knowing that your work will reap benefits next spring.

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