The end of Fall is a busy time for gardeners. The Winter that follows will offer a set of challenges in order to protect your trees, flower beds, and shrubs so that they survive the frost. Not every region has such a harsh winter, but all plants respond to the shifting of the seasons and you have to make some changes to ensure they survive.
Sounds easy enough, right? Well, the tasks themselves aren’t actually too difficult, but they can be time consuming and we’re just entering the busiest holiday season of the year. From now all the way to Christmas everyone will be packed with things to do, making it hard to decide what to focus on.
This is why today I’m guiding you through the most important gardening tasks before the holidays. It’s better to take care of these sooner rather than later!
“It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see." – Henry David Thoreau
Use mulch to protect your garden beds
Mulch can be used to great effect as a way to protect your garden beds from extreme cold. You can purchase mulch from a local gardening store, or you can make some for yourself if you have the resources – which I’ll talk more about below.
Just keep in mind that there are different mulch types, so pick whichever is better for the winter.
Repurpose Fall leaves
Fall leaves are usually swept and thrown away, but you can actually find a ton of good uses for them as a gardener. They can be used for protecting your lawn, vegetables, and flowers, as well as creating compost piles and mulch. All of which are hugely useful to your gardening efforts!
Creating compost takes some time, so the sooner you start, the sooner you’ll have your very own homemade compost. But mulch is easy and can be used to protect your plants from the harshness of winter. Your gardening tasks for december should include repurposing your leaves, as this will be of great help in the months and even years to come.
Read more on How To Use Fall Leaves In Your Garden and Yard!
Protect your plants from frost
Some plants are well equipped to deal with the cold weather, but others need help. To prevent their roots from freezing and their leaves from dying, you can cover them to protect from direct contact with snow and frost.
But if we’re talking about potted plants, that’s even easier. You can simply relocate them to a safer spot (perhaps in your porch or deck), or bring them indoors temporarily. As long as you remember to let them absorb sunlight, it should already be enough.
Most importantly, one of the ways you can protect your plants from the cold is by using mulch – which can be done with the help of Fall leaves, as I’ve mentioned before!
Clean your gutters
Your gutters are far more important than they seem. The proper redirection of water prevents a ton of serious issues that can escalate to downright dangerous, especially during winter. This is because gutters help in preventing water damage. Out of all gardening tasks for Fall, this is one of the most crucial ones.
Water damage caused by clogged gutters is one of the easiest ways to get yourself foundation cracks, because that water will freeze (and therefore compress) during the winter, and then expand again as it unfreezes. You can imagine what that does to concrete. Seriously, you can’t underrate water damage!
I’ll leave it at that to keep things short, but you should read more on why you should clean your gutters!
Turn off irrigation systems
Irrigation systems are great for your lawn and garden, but the water that flows through it can freeze during the winter. It’s usually recommended to either tone it down or stop it entirely during the cold months by shutting off the main valve. This is done to prevent your pipes from freezing, which if they do, can cause them to burst – and you can imagine why that’s bad.
Some pros will recommend dripping faucets, which is done to prevent the water inside the pipes to remain completely still, but this is not 100% effective. Shutting off the main valve is much safer.
Need help setting up your garden for the season? Get free quotes from professional landscapers in your area today!