Preparing the garden for winter....
the garden to bed for the winter is mostly a matter of cleaning up and covering
progresses plants naturally prepare for a season of rest, the onset of winter
and temporary dormancy. As cool nights and beautiful autumn arrives, the ground
cools and frost comes to the garden. It is time for the fall clean up.
Usually in the Chicago area, the first hard frost is from mid October to
appears the garden is shutting down for winter from the top growth, plants are
still growing roots, taking up moisture, and nutrients and preparing for winter
Every year as spring approaches most gardeners will ask themselves:
How should we garden this year?
Where should we add plants?
What should we add ?Remember we are all connected.When planting it is not about one plant but about the big picture of how everything works together. How can plants be placed to benefit the whole garden, the local ecosystem and for our pleasure.
Think about the following:
Minimize waste, choose the right plants for the right location.
Build a garden that has maximum benefit for people, and for the local ecology and the whole environment.
Spring in the Garden....There is lots to do now that it is Spring!
Time to Clean up the leaves -
A very heavy leaf fall can contribute to crown rot on many perennials and or poor emergence of new growth in spring.If the leaves are thick and messy they should be removed from the bed and composted or taken off site. Keep the compost pile going by adding layers of green material (grass and old annuals) and brown dried material (fallen leaves and small twigs) Turn regularly. Try to keep diseased material and weeds gone to seed from the compost pile.
Thinking about Spring!
Gardening tips for Spring Clean - up!
1.) Grasses left standing for
winter interest should now be cut down from March - April. This is the ideal time to cut
back ornamental grasses. I find myself wanting to be out in the garden on the
first warm days of March. This is the ideal time to begin gardening for the New
Year. Ornamental grasses should be cut about 4 – 6 inches from the ground. Old
ornamental grasses can be composted or used as mulch if chopped up. I use mine
to mulch the paths of my veggie beds and keep the footpaths less weedy and
Late winter is a good time to take a look at your garden tools and organize and clean them and start to get ready for Spring!
If you have a sensitive plants you can use old holiday greens
after the holidays and place the boughs over tender spots as extra protection. Today I took some holiday greens and used them to protect some of my rhododendrons.
I am beginning now to for any
signs of problems, like broken branches... is the bunny population chewing on something I did not protect?
Fall has arrived! The leaves are changing and the year is
winding down. It is important to Continue to water garden beds, especially if
it is dry. Plants with proper water tend to produce better fall color. Begin
watering evergreens deeply they require extra water for winter.
Foliage in the garden can be very colorful. Here is a pretty shot I took a couple days ago. Texture and color in the garden with foliage alone can create beautiful results.
Looks like our warm spell is going to continue for the next few days today it is suppose to hit 52 degrees! It looks like it will remain fairly warm until the middle of next week.
Be sure to walk through your garden on warm winter days like this and make sure to push
perennials back into the earth if they are rising above the planting level. The
freeze thaw cycle is more of a killer to perennials than a cold or snowy winter
It is also a great time to look for any signs of problems.