How to care for a garden in winter - Knowledgebase Question

Apex, No
Question by bernadettela
November 8, 2009
I am buying a house for the first time, with the closing scheduled for the end of November. The house is located in Apex, NC. It has a beautiful garden, and lots of trees. What should I do to care for the garden and trees during the winter?


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Answer from NGA
November 8, 2009

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Congratulations on your new home and your new landscape! There's not much you need to do in December, other than to rake up the fallen leaves and rake debris out of the garden beds. Many perennials will die down to ground level after the first hard frost. When this happens you can prune away any dead stems and foliage to clean up the garden. If there is no mulch in the beds, you might want to spread a thick layer of compost or shredded leaves over the bare soil to help suppress winter weeds. In the spring you can feed your plants and lawn and do some pruning - after you've determined when your shrubs and trees produce flowers. The general rule of thumb is to prune immediately after flowering has finished. In the meantime, if you have plants you are unfamiliar with, try to identify them by matching them as closely as you can with plants in garden centers. If you find duplicates, read the tags and jot down the botanical names along with cultural requirements. This will help guide you with individual plant care. Best wishes with your new landscape!

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