Winterizing Your Garden

Sep 28, 2022 | Landscape Supply, Uncategorized

Fall is upon us. Although we haven’t even yet reached the autumnal turning point where leaves change color and trees shed, that time will soon be here.

For green thumbs, the arrival of colder weather is a critical juncture in the lifecycle of a garden. It signals that winter is coming. And, if you want your veggies, flowers, and plants to have a productive spring harvest, now’s the time to prepare.

What are the best practices for winterizing a garden?

The landscaping experts at Kurtz Bros have your answers.

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What Is Garden Winterizing?

As the name suggests, this is the practice of proactively protecting and preparing your garden for its long winter nap.

Many states throughout the U.S. experience frigid winters with sub-zero temperatures and heavy snows—conditions that are less than ideal for growing most plants. Regardless, healthier plants tend to fare better despite such conditions.  

In chill-prone places, winter-hardy plants will naturally begin to harden off earlier in the year, meaning they prepare to go from active growth to dormancy. That said, there are additional steps you can take to ensure that both your annuals and perennials are prepared to face the cold.

Tip #1: Begin Winterizing Around or Before the First Frost

Where you live will dictate how robust your winterizing measures need to be. A garden in an 8-12 hardiness zone like California will require much less preparation than a garden in a 5-6 hardiness zone in Ohio.

If you are in Ohio, the first frost tends to occur around late October. Knowing this, you should start your winterizing tasks around this time.

Tip #2: Pull Weeds and Dead Plants

Although this may be the least enjoyable part of winterizing, it must be done. Think of it as a culling process. By removing dead, diseased, or invasive plants now, you can create the most suitable growing environment for the plants you want to thrive in the spring.

After you have weeded the garden, grab a rake and go to town. Doing so will loosen and mix the soil, preparing it for proper winter aeration.

Tip #3: Pull Annual Veggies and Flowers

Although this is an optional task, many gardeners prefer to pull annuals since they likely won’t grow in the spring naturally without replanting. Furthermore, these plants and veggies can be targets for pests and bacteria—either of which could overwinter in your garden and then infect healthy plants in the spring.

Tip #4: Compost and Mulch the Garden

Perennials tend to require an extra layer of protection, especially in cold areas. Laying down mulch and compost over your garden accomplishes two essential tasks:

  1. Adds an insulating layer that protects the existing plants, ensuring that the soil’s temperature stays consistent throughout the entire season

  2. Provides essential nutrients and matter to the soil

Tip #5: Water Generously

Even with winter on its way, you can’t forget to water your garden, especially any new shrubs, trees, or perennials. Watering the garden in the fall prepares the plants, affording them a much better chance to survive the cold months and then thrive in the spring.

Ideally, you should give your garden one last proper soak the week before the first frost.

Winterizing Supplies for Your Garden

Do you live in northeastern Ohio?

Then you need to start garden winter preparations now before temperatures drop. Otherwise, you risk tender plants dying off. For home growers, this yearly task prepares your garden for a bountiful spring bloom and harvest.

At Kurtz Bros., we sell high-quality mulch, compost, fertilizer, and more. As professional landscapers, we know exactly what it takes to prepare your garden for the winter. If you have questions, our professional green thumbs can answer all your garden-related questions.  

Visit our store to start your winterizing.

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Expertly Reviewed By:
Matt Malone, Vice President Operations
Matt Malone
Matt is an accomplished business professional with over three decades of experience in the green industry. As a graduate of the University of Toledo with a Bachelors of Business Administration, he has put his extensive education and training to work in his nearly 15 years with Kurtz Bros., where he currently serves as Vice President of Operations.

Learn More About Matt

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