Fall is officially here, but the gardening doesn’t stop just yet. There is still much to be done to ensure a healthy lawn and garden come next spring. We’ve compiled a list here of the things you can do to prepare for the winter.
1. Rake up leaves.
Letting leaves pile up both on the lawn and in the garden can create problems. Damp leaves are a breeding ground for bacteria and rot, so it’s important to rake them up. We know, jumping into leaf piles is a staple of celebrating fall, but when you’re finished with them, be sure to dispose of them to keep your lawn and garden healthy.
2. Cut back any perennials with dead leaves.
If leaves are still green, don’t cut them back! They’re still storing nutrients for the winter. Wait until the leaves have died back to cut them. Bonus tip with perennials: if you have any with diseased leaves, such as peonies with powdery mildew, dispose of them by burning them. Do not compost diseased plants as the diseases may persist in the garden.
3. Winterize trees and shrubs.
Don’t prune your trees and shrubs. Pruning them encourages new growth, but the new growth won’t have time before winter to establish and harden off. Shrubs like rhododendrons and azaleas should be pruned right after they flower in the early spring. At this point they’re already setting buds for next year, so it’s crucial not to prune them at all until after they’ve flowered next year.
You can also cover any small trees and deciduous shrubs with a-frame shrub guards or wrap with burlap to keep them protected from the snow. During the winter months, trees and shrubs can easily get dehydrated. Apply Wilt-Pruf to evergreens to keep the moisture locked in and prevent them from dying due to dehydration.
4. Plant your spring bulbs.
Before you put the tools away, if you’re looking for spring-blooming bulbs like tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils, now is the time to plant them! As long as the ground hasn’t frozen, planting is still safe to do. At Nunan’s and at our Knapp’s location, we have everything you need to get your spring bulbs in the ground. Our expert staff is always available for any questions you may have.