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Prepare for Spring in the Fall

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.