Winter’s a-coming, and many of your plants are depending on you to help them through.The first thing in order is to get a game plan and prioritize. Take casual surveillance of your landscape to foresee where your plants might need the most help. It is common for a plant to flourish with little help from you, in a protected southwestern facing spot, while the same species in the same yard struggles in a northerly windblown exposure.
Mulching is the most common and easiest way to prepare plants for winter. However there are some considerations. Organic mulch, while providing nutrients and protection for the plants, also provides a cozy bed for rodents and other pests. Rodents will eat bark as leaves and berries become scarce. It may be worthwhile to protect your bushes and small trees with chicken wire or aluminum foil at their base before laying the mulch.
Water, water, water! Especially if you’ve experienced a dry autumn, you will want to make sure that your plants get a good dose of H20 before their winters nap. Soaking soil before the first freeze is ideal, but doing so in between frosts while the ground is still not completely frozen will give plants the extra strength they need for a strong root system.
Many gardeners like to see what they can get away with and plant warmer weather species in their cold climates. Often, it works if the correct protection is provided. Using frost covers (sold at garden stores) or burlap to cover these and other tender plants like roses will help keep them protected. They will also help keep them safe from hungry critters!
Depending upon your climate and the types of plants you have will determine how much winter preparation you will need to commit to. The extra effort will pay off as you see your beauties alive and well come spring!