While it feels like spring outside, winter is inevitably on its way. In the Midwest, that means cold, snow and ice. It also means that your garden will lie dormant until warm weather returns. Your flowers need to be considered. Here's how to prepare your flower garden for the cold season, and how to get it primed for spring.
Clearing It OutThe first tsp in preparing your flowers for winter is removing any blackened stems and foliage of your annuals so diseases and insect eggs don't remain in the soil all winter.
Consider the WeatherSnow is actually a good thing for your flowers because a good snow cover will protect and insulate the soil like mulch. And even though it may look like nothing is going on above the ground, the truth is that your perennials are dividing and earthworms and microbes are still processing the organic matter that will give your flowers nutrients in the spring.
How to Prepare Perennials for WinterGetting your perennials ready for winter involves a multi-step process. Here's how:
- Cut back dry stems after frost to remove pest eggs, disease spores, and to neaten your garden.
- Compost dead plant debris to create an organic soil conditioner. Throw any questionable plant matter away.
- Cut off diseased foliage from evergreen plants and shrubs and discard. Rake up old mulch, too.
- Wait until the ground freezes to add a 6-inch layer of organic material to prevent rodents from nesting in it.