Summer is in full throw, but as fall approaches it is a good time to think about protecting your plants for next year’s beauty. As you weed your beds and prune your shrubs you may want to consider saving some of the waste and running it through a mulcher and keeping it handy for winter bed protection.
Saving time and money by using what you already have on hand to protect your outdoor plants is a great way to approach the impending cold temperatures bound to arrive anytime depending on your geographic location.
In the garage, you may have a shelf for just such advance planning. Recycle bins filled with newspapers and magazines serve as an immediate and plentiful source for root protecting, or wrapping around outdoor water spouts. The plastic bin could house; bubble wrap that can be wrapped around delicate new tree trunks, or new tree and shrub starts that haven’t quite made it through a continuous growing season.
Pine needles, and yet to fall leaves can be raked and layered on top of the ground in your garden protecting the ground and roots from hard freezes. Old carpet and rugs from a remodelling or redesign project can be laid down on top of cleared garden spaces to prevent weed growth after this seasons harvest. Remember underneath that beautiful snow, weeds still often grow.
Garden tools need to be taken care of as well. Don’t forget to clean, oil, sharpen and wrap tools in cloth or newspaper and store away for use next year. Hoses should be inspected and stored indoors. Sprinkler systems should be blown out with an air compressor, and turned off before a freeze. Outside spouts wrapped, and air vents under your house closed.
Pick up spring bulbs now
Gardens can be tilled before or after the season, depending on your preference, and you may wish to add a nice layer of compost to the mix if you have some ready. Check outdoor sections of your local garden store for clearance aisles of fertilizer, bulbs, and closeouts. This may save you money and give you a head start on next spring. Make sure you store the items in airtight containers out of freezing temperatures and away from children, pet and pests.
You may also want to consider transplanting overcrowded plants from this year as they finish blooming to areas that will allow them healthier growth and to become established before spring. Bulbs, tree starts, and flowers can all benefit from a move when necessary.
Advance planning now can yield to quite the unexpected and pleasant upcoming spring gardening experience yet to come!