WHAT SHOULD WE BE DOING TO PREPARE OUR GARDENS FOR WINTER
Here we are in November. Our plants have been working very hard these past months to impress us with their beauty and to make us happy that they are in our landscape. But, now these plants are ready for a break and a nap. Here in Central Virginia now is a good time for clean up while we still have some comfortable days to be working outdoors. If you are like me, when it is cold, I tend to avoid working outside.
I can’t stress this enough: IT IS STILL FALL / OUR GROUND IS NOT FROZEN / NOW IS STILL AN EXCELLENT TIME TO BE DOING SOME PLANTING AND TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE FALL PLANTING SEASON!!
Perennial plants are now not looking their best—such as hostas, peonies, iris, hibiscus, etc. so let’s cut back our perennials as one step toward preparing our gardens for winter. I stress to customers to hold off on cutting back the ornamental grasses, even though they may now be brown. Most grasses will continue to stay upright through the winter. Yes, they may be brown, but I see the beauty in their brown blades. So, I recommend holding off on cutting back ornamental grasses until around the first of March.
With the leaves falling off the shrubs and trees this allows us to really study the bare branching of the plants to determine if any pruning is needed. If you like how it looks and is shaped then leave it be. Also, with your shrubs and trees “naked” this allows you to look critically at the plant(s) to remove any broken limbs that you may discover. Be sure to make a clean cut close to the trunk.
As leaves fall, don’t let them build up on your lawn. Mow over the leaves and grind them into useful mulch that you can add to the gardens. These leaves will become organic matter in the soil.
In order to keep your landscape looking good then be sure to stay on top of any weed growth.
As for our feathered friends—let’s not forget them now. They need our assistance more than ever when it comes to food and water at this time of year. It can be a little tricky with having a birdbath during the winter. You need to be careful during a cold snap so the water does not freeze which could cause your birdbath to crack.
If you have the space and want to add some color for the spring then think about planting spring blooming bulbs now such as daffodil, crocus, muscarii, etc. Planting now is a great time while you are outside getting your landscape ready for the winter.
PLANT A LITTLE HAPPINESS!!!!!!!!!!!