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Preparing your garden for winter

Published on October 16, 2013

The recent bout of cold Autumn (Fall) weather and the first glimpses of snow covered trees on the Jura and Alps is a good indication that it’s time to prepare your garden for winter.

You should begin by cleaning up your garden. This will involve removing any weeds and spent annuals and removing diseased leaves from your trees and shrubs. Perennials should also receive some attention: they should be cut back to about 6 to 8 inches above the ground. Doing this now will save you from having to do extra work when spring arrives.

Another way of protecting your plants is to place a 4 to 6 inch layer of mulch on your soil. This mulch will harbour nutrients that your plants can access during the winter, and prevent soil erosion due to freezing temperatures. Even though your plants are dormant above ground, there is still a lot going on beneath – it’s important your plants' roots can still access water and nutrients during the winter months.

Compost Bin

If you do not yet have a compost bin, now may be a great time to make that investment. The spare organic materials you now have from cleaning will make nutrient-rich compost in time for next season.

Don't forget our feathered friends

Winter is an especially harsh time for non-migrating birds. Installing and maintaining a birdhouse will give our feathered friends a readily available source of food before snows melt away next spring.

Following these steps will save you additional work in the spring, and ensure that your garden is in the best possible shape for a successful season next year!

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