Q. Is there is anything I can do now in the garden to make next spring’s work easier?
A. Here are some general recommendations for tasks to do now to prepare for next spring:
- Check trees and shrubs for winter pruning while they are dormant.
- Protect shrubs from winter damage from heavy snow load or salt.
- Clean and sanitize garden tools.
- Take note of what worked and didn’t work in this year’s garden to identify what to do differently next year. Take photos if necessary.
- Remove soil from containers.
- Wash and bring in clay, ceramic, and fragile containers to keep them from freezing.
- Remove and destroy all diseased plant material.
- Plant spring-flowering bulbs.
- Pull mulch away from trees and shrubs to prevent rodent damage.
- Insulate tender perennials and shrubs such as mums, hydrangeas, and hybrid tea roses.
- Bring in plants that are not winter hardy.
- Continue to water trees and shrubs if Mother Nature doesn’t.
- Take the time now to learn the cultural requirements of the plants in your landscape.
- Leave your native plants to provide winter habitat and interest.