The clocks are turned back. The leaves are falling. The air is brisk – and getting brisker.
The seasons, they are a-changin’.
Luckily, you still have time to shift your garden into winter gear.
Prep your flower beds for winter to enjoy a clean slate in spring. Plus, plant a few of the best winter flowers, so you can revel in their joyous color even during the coldest winter days.
Help Your Flower Bed Weather Winter in 6 Steps
Before you jump in – trowel in toe – check if the first frost has arrived in your area.
1. Remove spent annual flowers.
2. Water perennials and rose bushes.
While you’re at it, remove any dead or diseased rose cane, and cut back spent perennials.
3. Weed your garden bed.
If you haven’t experienced your first frost yet, perform a soil test, and add amendments. Aim for 5% organic matter to retain the most soil moisture.
4. Add organic matter atop your flower bed.
This help retain moisture and add nutrients to the soil. Organic leaf humus is best. Otherwise, use compost or peat moss. If you’re feeling ambitious, mix into the soil.
5. Plant spring-blooming bulbs, such as daffodils, crocus and hyacinths.
Even if you’ve had the first frost, you can still plant spring bulbs so long as the ground isn’t frozen. All you need is a spot with six hours of daily sunlight and good drainage.
6. Add some much needed winter color in containers.
Choose cool-season flowers and shrubs, such as ornamental kale, snap dragons, chrysanthemums, and winterberries. These beautiful blooms become brighter as it gets colder, so they’ll survive even the coldest parts of the country.