Preparing the Yard and Gardens for Winter

I always put off those last minute clean up jobs until the snow is about to fly. We have had one snow and I know next week will bring more so I have been getting those tasks done this week. This is more of a task in a zone 5 garden area that can accumulate large snow falls but every gardening region needs certain winter chores to be done.

My garden tools are all cleaned and hung up, except for three, which I am still using. It’s important to get the dirt off your tools and to oil the handles. Cleaning the dirt off prevents rust and oiling the handle keeps it smooth and prevents wood slivers and cracks.

Most of my shrubs are mulched and one garden needs a final mulch cover, which I hope to do Monday. I do tie two of my shrubs with twine to prevent the heavy snows from breaking limbs. You may want to tie evergreen shrubs or use burlap or a wooden frame around them. It is also a wise idea for newly planted shrubs.

I started mulching my gardens with straw and leaves about four years ago. It keeps the soils moist and soft and makes digging the new garden easier. Usually I just work the mulch into the ground in early spring with a “Garden Claw” and I can easily plant peas and early crops.  My soil has improved and it’s made for easier gardening.

I finished my last mowing of the yard for this year, a 13-hour task. I like the grass mowed as late as possible. It prevents snow mold and makes mowing for the first time in the spring easier.

All that’s left to do it work in the last perennial garden, winterize the porches and rake the last leaves, which I will add to the compost pile them cover for the season. Now I am prepared for another gardening season!

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