Prepping garden for winter - Knowledgebase Question

Vienna, Vi
Question by bijalsanghan
September 21, 2009
Are there some basics that needs to be taken care of to prep my garden for winter? e.g. pull out annuals, apply layer of mulch? I am planning to plant some bulbs.


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Answer from NGA
September 21, 2009

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Good garden sanitation at the end of the growing season will help keep your garden healthy. This clean-up will help eliminate overwinterimg disease pathogens and remove hiding places for insects. With the approach of fall, insects will be searching for winter homes and places to lay their eggs.

I usually wait until after the first hard frost kills the tops of the plants down before starting my garden clean up. Allowing the frost to kill back the plants signals the perennials that it's time to go dormant. I cut back the dead foliage on perennials and pull out the annuals. Then apply a 2-3 inch layer of organic mulch to help suppress winter weed growth.

You can plant your bulbs before the first hard frost of the season and clean up the area in the immediate vicinity, but I'd wait to do a real clean up after the first frost.

Best wishes with your garden.

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