Perform these tasks to prep your garden for winter and ensure its success Following  spring

This is no more for gloomy thoughts about the backyard. It’s the opportunity to look forward to guarantee a brilliant garden for nextnbsp;spring.

First principle: not over-tidy. Yes, make the edges of borders and paths look neat; and clean out weeds while the soil remains moist. But hands off the majority of the leaves. They ought to be left in place unless they form a smothering mat over perennials. In cases like this, lift them out carefully and spreadnbsp;elsewhere.

Do not mow everything down sticking its head above the ground. Leave seed-laden plants like purple coneflower alone. If they’re annoying, prop them up and eliminate the worst of the droopy stalks. You’re aiming for a balance between environmental sensitivity andnbsp;aesthetics.

Perennials like penstemons, peonies, delphiniums and their ilk are seedless and must be cut back to their rosettes as soon as they begin looking lax andnbsp;unattractive.

When perennials are stripped of the seeds and look grungy, whack them back. You’re aiming to get a group of graceful forms that will look handsome with a covering of snow. This will consist of grasses andnbsp;shrubs.

The next plants with luscious leaves appear mushy, cut them directly into the floor. Since this was a hellish year for slugs, create an elixir of ammonia and water (1:4) and pour it around crops. This may add some nitrogen to the ground and, one hopes, eliminate eggs lurkingnbsp;underground.

Some other jobs to take carenbsp;of:


Reserve a certified arborist to remove dead trees and branches. Certified since there are a lot of scam artists at the “arborist” business. Don’t be sentimental about trees. If your expert says they’re dying, eliminate them. This can occur right intonbsp;December.

Meantime, you can be forming relatively young plants so long as there is time left for wounds to heal. Find out how to do this correctly or call in a specialist. Terrific pruning is an art and if you leave a tree or tree mottled with stubs (nasty long pieces springing from every cut), it’ll be vulnerable to bugs andnbsp;illness.


Now’s a wonderful time for planting trees and shrubs. But be sure that you plant in a hole that is as deep as the root system and twice as broad. Back-fill with normal soil and include a 10-centimetre layer of mulch and compost to the surface. Be extravagant and add a second layer of compost on top of mulch to get a sophisticatednbsp;seem.

Crazed gardeners will plant till their fingers freeze in place. Some will dig holes for bulbs, save the soil indoors and plant bulbs in late November; others will risk adding new plants right up to frost. Pick what you can handle financially andnbsp;physically.

Mulch and compost

If there’s anything close to a magic bullet in gardening, this is it. Adding mulch and compost will enhance any sort of soil. They break up clay soil and add organic matter to sandy soil. Do not bother digging anything in, simply increase the surface of the soil and let nature do its job. Worms will draw mulch to the soil, mulch breaks down and nourish the soil and for that reason thenbsp;plants.

Recall: Peat moss is sterile and doesn’t include any nutrients to the ground. If you water it greatly and dig it into a distinctive border, over decades, it is going to make soil more acidic. But it isn’t feeding thenbsp;dirt.


Watering is vital to a terrific spring garden. The garden needs a great deal of water moving into winter, but do not let it get soggy, which is nearly as bad as too little water. After leaves start falling and until heavy frost, be certain you water to percolate at least 30 centimetres below the surface. Evergreens are exceptionally needy. They transpire (breathe) all winter and their needles will turn brown and fall. This is known as winter burn, but what is really happening is that they are sucking needed water from the roots and gradually damaging themselves. Keep your eye on them through January thaws: They may neednbsp;watering.

Planning for spring

Have a black-and-white shot of your backyard and you will see the holes, the mush, in addition to the sound, shapely stuff. A fantastic analysis before you begin work will make an unbelievable difference to a excellent plan. For example: Are there enough different heights of plants? If you have got tall and small, you need short and eye-level shrubs and perennials. Create a list of what is going to work with your dirt and lightnbsp;requirements.

Temptations, however, await in the nurseries. This is their big selling time. Do not get sucked into buying plants simply since they’re bargains. Never let a plant in your garden without a great reason and the ideal place for it, also it has to be in tiptop condition. Use control, wait for spring. It is safer to create lists and do somenbsp;study.

When You’re looking up plants, make sure the site is relevant to your region: in British Columbia, websites from Oregon make sense; in many parts of the rest of the Nation, the isnbsp;marvellous.

Layering the garden

At ground level, use bulbs.
The best way to design a bulb boundary would be to mix up the bulbs, sticking to a harmonious palette of 3 colors (e.g., pink/purple/white) and by making certain that the planting hole is relatively deep. It is the only way to keep squirrels out. Bulbs will make their way to thenbsp;surface.

At the bottom of the hole, arrange big and compact bulbs in a casual, relaxed layout and thread them like beads on a necklace throughout the garden. In the middle, add two or three naturalizing bulbs (scilla, chionodoxa, muscari) to disperse during the next decade. For rare and intriguing bulbs: phoenixperennials. com is non-pareil.

  • When you have dog or cat hair, throw some in the pit; differently, roll the bulbs at the lowest bulk cayenne pepper you cannbsp;find.
  • Nothing is squirrel-proof, but attempt alliums (six to nine planted one of hellebores or other spring flowering plants), species tulips and little cultivars ofnbsp;narcissus.

Add a layer of leaves to top of this compost/mulch cover-up. Make the region seem as untouched as possible. Squirrels are automatically drawn to disturbednbsp;stains.

The low level:
Dwarf plants: These plants should be less than two yards. But be cautious, dwarf might mean four metres so read labels carefully. Consider getting some foliage color or variegation to thisnbsp;degree.

Eye level:
It is trickier to find modest trees and shrubs which will stay at the perfect height, but judicious pruning can make this elevation looknbsp;striking.

Every gardener looks ahead to another season. While enjoying the joys of autumn, make magic for nextnbsp;spring.

Courtesy: The Globe And Mail

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