Even though the weather has turned chilly and the last tomato has been picked, it does not mean that it is time to forget about the garden. Taking the time to put the garden to bed for the winter will help the garden to be ready for the next growing season. Also, this is the time for winter plant growing as well as planting the crops for the spring.
Taking the time to remove the dead debris from the garden is important. Not only does this help to prevent disease, but it also helps to remove any unwanted pests that have taken shelter in the garden. If adding the debris to a compost pile, the heat from the compost will kill any diseases that may have been in the garden. When pruning be careful not to prune to far back and damage any root balls that are in the garden.
This is also the time to prepare the soil for the next growing season. Tilling will not only aid in pest control, but it will make for an easier planting in the spring. If you are planning to expand your garden, this is also the time to till that area as well. Place a 2 inch layer of mulch to help protect the garden.
Cold sensitive plants
It is important to take care of any plants or shrubs that may be sensitive to the cold or harsh winter weather. Consider wrapping shrubs in burlap to protect them from the harsh winds. Take care of any new trees that were planted in the fall. Herb plants and other cold sensitive plants need to be brought into the house or into a greenhouse to be kept warm.
Now is the time to plant your spring bulbs and other spring plants. Things such as asparagus and rhubarb should go into the ground as this time. You may want to mark were you place these plants as well so you can easily locate them in the early spring.
Do not put your garden tools away dirty. Not only is not good for the tools, if there are any diseases left on the tools, they will contaminate the garden in the spring. This is also the time to sharpening tool and lawnmower blades. Replace anything that is either worn out or broken. Empty all water from garden hoses and sprinklers and put them away. Empty the lawnmower and other gas powered tools of all gasoline before covering and storing them away for the winter.
Now is the time to make your garden list while everything is still fresh in your mind. This may include seeds and plants that you would like to grow next season. Include in this list any supplies that you may need or new tools that you may need to buy. By keeping this list handy, you can purchase your items throughout the winter, and be ready to start gardening fresh in the spring.