How To Put Your Garden to Bed – Winter Is Coming!

How to Put Your Garden to Bed

As winter approaches, it is time to prepare the garden for dormancy.  This is true in areas that experience hard frosts or freezes.  Here is how to put your garden to bed.

First, prune back.

Cut back perennial plants.  Wait until after the first frost so that you don’t encourage new, tender growth that will be susceptible to frost damage.  Before you start to trim, do a little research on your plant varieties.  Some plants need to be pruned in the fall, and others prefer to be pruned in the spring.  Learn more about pruning on the BGH blog.

Second, clean up.

Remove dead or dying materials.  Pull back any mulch or debris that can give pests a hiding place in which to survive the winter.  Cut back overgrowth that may harbor pests or unwanted wildlife.  Compost materials that you remove from the garden.  However, if pests are noted in the materials, it may be wise to discard them.

Finally, cover up.

Cover the garden with a layer of organic fresh materials, such as mulch, straw, or leaf litter.  You can also spread garden amendments, such as manure or lime (only if your soil is acidic.)  And if weeds have been a problem, lay down sheets of cardboard to smother them.

Putting a garden to bed happens over a period of days or weeks.  It is worth the effort, as you will have a more productive and easier to manage garden in the spring.