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How to Prepare Your Plants for Fall and Winter

You’ve worked hard to keep your plants looking lush, vibrant, and healthy all summer long. But as the mornings begin to get cooler and the days shorter, it’s time to prepare your flowers, bushes, and shrubs for the cold weather ahead. To reduce adding more work for yourself come next year, follow these tips for tucking in your plants until it’s time to wake up next season. 

Pick, pluck, and bury 

As fall approaches, take a stroll through your yard to find all the plants that are dying, rotting, or starting to reach their peak for the season. As plants rot, they not only look unkempt, but attract a variety of insects which can lay eggs, open plants up to fungi and diseases, and prevent them from coming back to their original glory. 

Wipe out weeds

Weeds have a habit of sneakily coming into your gardens and yards undetected, and before you know it, your plants are sent packing because there are new tenants in town. To stop this from happening next year, dig up your weeds now and dispose of them properly. That means throw them in the trash or burn them with leaves. Simply putting them in a compost heap or just pulling them out with the root still in the ground isn’t enough to rid invasive plants. 

Mulch for protection 

Soil is a lot like skin. Changes in temperature can make it dry out, it needs moisture to maintain nutrients, and severe weather can wreak havoc on it. To keep your soil as healthy as possible during cold months, add a thick layer of mulch toward the end of summer or early fall. This will protect soil from erosion and keep things moist, helping your soil stay stronger as the seasons change. 

Till ‘til your soil is clean 

Soil is a breeding ground for insects. Many lay their eggs underground where larvae and grubs are protected and can feed; however, this can inhibit the growth of your plants once larvae are full grown. Tilling soil will dig up and expose any insects and or eggs so you can get rid of them before they get to your plants. 

Don’t ignore your trees

Regulating ground-level plants is always top of mind. They’re easier to reach and don’t take too much time. However, forgetting about trees can lead to long-term damage and a rough winter. If branches are weak or dry, winter will likely make them even worse if not completely destroy them. To prevent harm, it’s best to trim your trees and give them extra water before the ground freezes to keep them quenched throughout the winter. 

Give roses some TLC

If your green thumb has given you the gift of being able to grow healthy, lucious roses, protecting them from treacherous weather should be high on your list of priorities. To ensure your bushes come back ready to bloom, give your roses lots of water before the ground freezes and cover them with an extra layer of soil and mulch to keep them moist throughout the winter. If you live in a climate that drops below freezing often and gets significant snowfall, you can further protect your roses by placing a layer of straw on top of the mulch and securing it with wire or lattice. 

Forego fertilization

Fertilizer is a great booster for growth and helps plants remain strong and healthy. However, when summer winds down and winter is knocking at the door, you don’t want to encourage plants to grow as the cooler temperatures will damage new or fresh buds and blooms. To keep plants happy in summer, but slow them down to prepare for fall and winter, stop fertilization in August. 

By focusing on plants now, you’ll give them the best chance to sustain through winter and be ready to come back next year better than ever.