With the days growing shorter and cooler, autumn is an ideal time to prepare your garden for the winter ahead. There are several things you can do at this time of the year which will help ensure your plants survive the colder months ahead. A little bit of care now will help you have a beautiful blooming garden again come spring. If you are planning to sell your home in the coming months the winterization steps you take for your plants will also help you keep your yard healthy and attractive to potential buyers, even in the deepest of winter dormancy. I have compiled a list of some quick tips to help you get organized and on your way through winter preparations in your garden.
- Pruning helps remove dead or diseased branches from trees and shrub, and will allow for stronger growth within the branches that remain. Pruning is also done to help control the growth of a plant to a desired size or shape. The amount of pruning and how you prune as well as when will depend on what you are pruning. Fruit trees for example grow fruit at various times in their growing seasons. You will want to confirm when your trees bear fruit, it could be after a year of growth, during a current season’s growth or on spurs that grow after pruning. The California Native Plant Society has some great information and guidelines that can help you with more pruning tips.
- Mulching will protect your plants from the cold. A good thick layer of fresh mulch along the base of your plants will help regulate the temperature, effectively giving your plants a blanket. Be sure to remove any old mulch first as it may harbor pest eggs which could be devastating come spring. Once the first frost or close to freezing temperatures arrive, it is time to lay down the new layer of mulch. This will help maintain a steady temperature, protecting from fluctuations of freezing and melting periods. It is these changes that can cause damage to roots. Roses are vulnerable to the cold in particular. You can wrap rose bushes in a burlap mulch container to help them make it through the colder months. There is a great how to guide on this mulch idea and others from Better Homes & Gardens.
- Planting new trees and shrubs now is ideal. By planting now the will be set to lie dormant for the winter, and ready to focus new growth and energy in the spring. Most fruit trees need at least 6 hours of daylight during the growing season so be sure to plan accordingly where you will plant any new trees, being sure they will get enough direct light. You should also delay fertilizing any new plants at this time, as fertilizer will encourage continued growth and the energy needed to dormancy may be depleted too much for a plant to survive the winter.
- Some other quick tips include checking for pests regularly and make any repairs to flower beds, clean up any dead flowers or stalks as well. Avocado and Citrus trees should be watered thoroughly to help prevent them from splitting. Keep a polyspun garden fabric on hand that you can use to cover annuals from frost.
With just a little time and care you can prepare your garden to survive the winter and burst forth with a bouquet of color come spring. If you are ready to sell your home the extra steps toward winterizing your garden will give you an extra edge in attracting potential buyers as well. We at Haylen Group are here to help you with all of your real estate needs! If you are unsure what your options are, call Helen Chong at (408) 800-LIST or email at Helen@HaylenGroup.com. You can also visit us at our website for available listings and additional information.