Although many gardeners may wish that spring and summer were endless, giving beautiful flowers and generous edibles throughout the year, the truth is that winter is unavoidable. The bulbs and flowers which you spent hours planting, the shrubberies you encouraged to grow strong, and the lawn which you tended daily will all wither and fade.
In truth, while the leaves of your plants may have dried and dropped off, there is just as much going on under the soil during winter as any other time of the year! By preparing your garden or landscape for winter, you’ll have full and lush growth during the spring.
Preparing your Garden or Landscape for Winter
Your garden is hard at work during spring, summer, and fall. Winter isn’t necessarily a barren and boring environment; it’s a time for your plants to take a break, and for you to make new plans for the upcoming season.
Preparing your garden or landscape for winter is mostly about cleaning up and preparing for spring. The benefits may seem minimal, but good preparation now will help your garden thrive later!
- Winter is a great time to aerate your garden. By allowing some air into the soil, you’ll allow in water and nutrients, which are essential to any healthy growth.
- Spread new mulch, whether store bought or leaves from your own yard. The mulch which you spread last summer is likely looking well-worn by now. Not only will new mulch look more attractive, it will help your soil maintain an even temperature through the winter months.
- Remove dead leaves and growth from your landscape. Cleaning up your yard from old or brown growth will immediately help it look more attractive, if bare, during the winter. Cleaning up these old growth will also reduce the opportunities for fungus, disease, or insect eggs to have a safe harbor and affect your garden during the next season.
- Place old plant debris into compost for later use. Remember that healthy debris will result in compost which is good for your plants. Diseased or questionable looking debris should be discarded.
- Prepare your perennials by trimming the stems to the ground after the first frost. This ensures that any insect eggs or diseases are removed, and will promote strong growth during the spring.
- Winterize your trees before the first frost. Remove old, diseased, or brown growth from evergreens and save what is usable for compost. Wrap the trunks of young trees with wire or other bark protecting materials to protect them from deer. White-tailed deer can be a problem in many parts of Atlanta as they forage on suburban gardens during the winter!
- Clean, sharpen, and store your garden tools for the winter. By giving them regular care at the end of a long season of use, you’ll prolong their lifespans and keep your tools working for years to come.
- If your garden has annuals, roses, or other delicate plants, you may want to invest in some polyspun garden fabric to help keep them healthy during the winter.
- The end of the season is a great time to collect seeds to store for a future season. Collect seeds now, and enjoy plenty of your favorite plants in the future.
- For vegetable gardens, winter is a great time to till and renew your garden by adding compost or fertilizer.
- You may want to consider wrapping tender shrubs or plants with burlap and insulating with mulch to keep them healthy.
Winter Bloomers in Atlanta
You might be surprised to learn that many flowers bloom during winter in the Atlanta area! If you’d like to have some color in your garden during the winter, or just want to get a jump on spring, there are many options to choose from.
Some winter bloomers in Atlanta include…
- Camelia Japonica
- Sweet Alyssum
- Winter Jasmine
- Winter Honeysuckle
A garden of winter bloomers is sure to catch the eye of any passer-by.
Northside Tool Rental
Preparing your garden for winter may not have the same immediate gratification that spring or summer preparation has. However, winter prep is essential to maintain and improve the health of your garden for the upcoming season!
Our friendly and knowledgeable staff at our five Atlanta locations is more than happy to answer any questions you may have about equipment or rentals. Call us today!