The days are growing shorter and colder as winter draws near. Even though now might not seem like the best time to be outside working in the garden, there are plenty of things you can do to help prepare the space for winter.
Spending time in the space now might result in greater results for your flowers and plants in the upcoming growing season, regardless of the type of space you’re working in—whether it’s a big plot in your backyard or a small raised bed in a community garden. In addition, it always feels nice to be outside in the fresh air, regardless of the season.
This is a list of things to do before the snow starts to fly.
Tidy up – strategically
It’s tempting to pick up a rake and clear things away when the plants and flowers wither and the leaves fall. Resist the temptation to remove the seed pods, stalks, leaves, and perennial plants from the ground for the winter. Leaving enough of plant material behind will not only create a haven for beneficial insects and pollinators come springtime, but it will also provide food and shelter for overwintering birds.
Rake some leaves onto your garden beds if you can, especially for plants that would benefit from a little extra insulation throughout the winter.
Support the birds
It’s time to get out the suet and bird feeder. Feeding birds regularly during the winter months is important because overwintering birds might grow reliant on you for their food. To lessen the transmission of illness, try to sterilize the feeder approximately every two weeks.
Protect shrubs and garden beds
Most bushes and shrubs don’t need to be pruned or trimmed in the fall; it’s usually preferable to wait until early spring. For young or recently planted trees that might break under the weight of ice and snow, late fall is a good time to stake and wrap with burlap. Make sure you continue watering them until the ground completely freezes.
Fertilize veggie gardens
Late fall is an excellent time to fertilize a space if you enjoy growing herbs and veggies there. After adding some fertilizer and lime to the soil, spread compost or manure over it. To preserve fragile plants like lavender and strawberries that you’ll be overwintering, cover garden beds with hay or straw.
It is good to see vivid and colourful bulbs bloom in the spring after a long winter. Fortunately, most bulbs can be planted all the way up until the ground freezes. Select a sunny, well-drained area and enjoy planting alliums, tulips, crocus, daffodils, and hyacinth. The general rule of thumb is roughly three times the height of the bulb if you’re unsure of how deep to go.
Learn more about gardening tips at https://www.yourdoctors.ca/blog/healthy-living/late-garden