As we say goodbye to fall and look ahead to the winter season, it’s time for a full winter garden cleanup! If you’ve already completed your fall garden cleanup, this will be a less intensive process for you.
Here are 5 tips for completing a full winter cleanup in your garden that will help prepare you for the next gardening season.
Tip 1: Protect Against Pests
Deadheading perennials is important for helping the plant grow bigger and stronger the following season, and it also helps protect against infected debris, fungal spores, and unwanted insect eggs that could take over your garden. Removing the leftover greenery and blooms from perennials that have wilted for the winter will also help protect your bulbs and freshly planted seeds in the spring, giving them a greater chance of having their best growing season. Any uninfected debris that you collect from your cleanup can then be composted.
Tip 2: Tend to Your Late Fall and Winter Crops
If you planted a late fall batch of cold-hardy vegetables like lettuce, carrots, or spinach, it’s time to check on your harvest! Whether you used a cold frame or sowed them directly into the ground, you’ll want to check and see what’s ready for harvesting. The changing season can also serve as a reminder to further insulate your cold frames with branches or straw.
Tip 3: Clean Your Tools
The arrival of winter is the perfect time to perform routine maintenance on your gardening tools! This includes cleaning, oiling, and sharpening your various shears to help prevent disease when pruning your plants in the spring. Since we’re spending less time on routine gardening tasks during the winter, giving our most used tools some extra attention is the perfect excuse to get back out into our gardening space.
Another important part of routine winter maintenance in your garden should also include taking inventory of your bulbs and seeds. This means labelling and storing them in a cool, dry place. When you’re ready to start gardening in the springtime, you’ll then know where everything is and you’ll be able to hit the ground running.
Tip 4: Power Wash and Scrub Garden Ornaments
While spring is known as the season of cleaning, winter is also the perfect time to clean your garden ornaments! From statues to gnomes, birdbaths to benches now is the time to give your lawn ornaments a good wash. Power washing your larger stone pieces and scrubbing other smaller pieces with a wire brush will help remove the moss, algae, and dirt that accumulates throughout the year. A thorough winter cleaning will leave your decorations looking fresh and ready for the next gardening season.
Tip 5: Winterize Your Sprinklers or Irrigation System
With freezing temperatures upon us, it’s time to winterize your irrigation systems. Whether you’re able to empty the system yourself or you have to call a professional, it’s important to remember to flush out your sprinkler system. If you forget, a frozen and burst pipe can be costly! After you’ve turned off your sprinkler system and flushed out the pipes, don’t forget to bring your hoses in for the winter too.
All this winter preparation means we’re that much closer to the next gardening season! The work that you do in the winter will make you much more prepared to do your best work next gardening season when spring hits.