6 Essential Tips To Winterize Your Garden Like A Pro

Put your garden to rest!

It’s getting colder and you may want to cozy up indoors, but before you do, make sure you get outside and winterize your garden! The work we do now is going to set us up for success next year and since our gardens are an investment there are things we need to protect. Here are 5 tips to winterize your garden like a pro!

1. Protect The Branches

The main thing we want to talk about is protecting evergreens like Emerald Cedars. Heavy wet snow can break the branches of cedars making it important that we protect them for the winter. If your cedar is in a protected area from sunlight or wind, for example, a fence behind it like mine, we would put a winter wrap around it to hold it tight together preventing snow from breaking the branches.

For any perennials like a rosebush, we would use a rose hut to put over top with a rock on top to hold it down. The rose hut provides extra insulation for the colder months.

2. Use Burlap to Protect Broadleaf Evergreens

Broadleaf evergreens such as Azalea, Rhododendron, Southern Magnolia, Live Oak, and Holly need burlap to protect them in the winter.

For broadleaf evergreens:

  • Install four wooden posts around the plant
  • Wrap the burlap around the posts
  • Use a staple gun to staple the burlap into the posts to create a little house for the plant.
  • The burlap protects the plant from wind, shades it not allowing moisture to be pulled, and the open-top allows snow to fall in.

Another option for a broadleaf evergreen is you can spray it with Wilt Pruf as an anti-desiccant which provides a protective waxy coating to reduce water loss from an evergreen’s foliage.

3. Be Careful About What You Cut Back And Remove

When it’s time to wrap up the plants you want to be careful about what you cut back and remove, and when you do it. Hydrangeas are important to cut back in the fall if they bloom on new wood. Hydrangeas such as Annabelle Hydrangeas or Limelights can break from heavy snow which is more harmful to the plant since it is not usually a clean break.

By cutting these hydrangeas back they will be more protected and flush out easily for next season creating new growth and a bigger plant. It may look like you are taking too much off the plant, but what you are doing is protecting it for next year.

4. Garden Pests

There are garden pests to watch out for this time of year such as rabbits, chipmunks, and squirrels. Winter wraps around the stem are great to prevent rabbits from chewing. If you have a problem with squirrels in the garden a pelletized chicken manure is something you can spread across because squirrels don’t like the smell of it.

5. Improve the Quality of Your Soil 

Fall is the perfect time to improve the quality of your soil for next year. Amending your soil in the Fall months is better than in Spring. For my garden I’m going to add bags of manure as a topdress and the frost and cold will help to work that in over the winter.

For those who have containers and have soil inside your container what I recommend for you to do is empty that out. The soil in most containers has a lot of water that when frozen will expand and crack the pot. After you have emptied your pot store it upside down to have good pots for next year!

6. Clean up The Yard

Outside of the garden, there is work to be done in the yard. When your trees lose some of their leaves we do have to clean that up from the lawn. You can push the leaves onto the garden so that they can be reworked into the soil or put them in leaf bags. Most importantly make sure that leaves don’t stay on the lawn!

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