Every year it seems like gardening is coming to an end and the work is over with. But don’t forget there is still work to be done before you start decorating for Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas.
1. Disconnect Hoses / Winterize Sprinkler & Drip Irrigation Systems
First thing you need to do is disconnect your hoses if you are about to get freezing temperatures overnight. This can be a costly mistake to forget, as the pipe leading into your house can crack if water is still in the pipe and the hose is attached.
Pro Tip: we recommend disconnecting the spray nozzle from the hose and bringing that inside as well so that doesn’t crack from frozen water still inside the hose.
2. Bring Glass Garden Ornaments Inside
Glass gardening decor looks great during the warmer months of the year. However, in the winter glass ornaments don’t hold up well. Wind can knock branches over which could crack the glass. And any ornaments that hold water will crack when the water in them freezes.
3. Organize The Garden Shed & Clean Gardening Tools
If you are like us, by the end of the year the garage or gardening shed is a complete mess. Gloves, tools, dirt and fertilizer are all over the place. So are empty pots and containers. Getting organized now will be a huge relief all winter and will allow you to hit the ground (no pun intended) running in the spring. Make sure to store your tools indoors, and don’t leave them outside.
Pro Tip: Make sure to clean your gardening tools often so they last for years to come.
4. Don't Forget About The Herbs
Herbs will typically continue to grow until the first frost or two. Even after the first frost, the leaves may be limp but are still usable. We recommend bringing your herb plants indoors and placing near a south facing window or underneath a grow light. Or you can harvest the rest of the plants if bringing them indoors isn’t an option. Once you harvest all of the herbs, you can preserve them by freezing or drying the herbs.
Pro Tip: You can extend the growing season of your herbs by covering them up at night with a blanket.
5. Protect Potted Plants
Make sure to empty and store any frost-sensitive flower pots. Pots made of terracotta and regular ceramic are prone to cracking during hard freezes and should be stored in a shed, basement, or garage. Some annuals like geraniums (pelargoniums) and fuchsias can be left in their containers and successfully overwintered in these spaces. When the temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, cut back the foliage and store the plant in an unheated space that stays above freezing. Water the pot sparingly, just enough to keep the soil from drying out completely. Bring the pots back outside in spring, after the last expected frost date.
6. Start Thinking and Planning For Your Garden Next Year!
There is no better time to start thinking about what you want to do to your garden next year than at the end of the year while your garden is fresh in your mind on what it looked like all year. What areas were you happy with and what areas did you want to improve? Did you see any plants out there that you absolutely loved, but you didn’t know where you would put it? Now is the time to find space for it so you can buy the plant next year! Did you have any plants die off over the year and need to be replaced? Are there plants available that would do better in that location? Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to replace a plant with the same kind, which may set yourself up for failure. Did you have any areas of your yard that you wanted to turn into a garden? Now is the time to start planning so you are ready to go in spring when things really get busy!
6. Don’t Forget About Overwintering Plants in Containers
Author Chris Link - Published 10-28-2020