Important Garden Tasks to do before Winter:

  1. Clean and sharpen garden tools.
  2. Mow around young trees and fruit trees to prevent mice from nesting there.
  3. Put tree guards on or wrap young trees with tree wrap to prevent rodent damage.
  4. Read your animal/insect repellents to verify when to quit using them.
  5. Move indoors in a safe place, protected from young children, any liquid garden products.
  6. Clean, store and turn upside down outdoor containers.
  7. Rake fallen leaves off grass.
  8. Give all trees and shrubs, especially evergreens and boxwoods, a thorough watering before the ground freezes hard.
  9. Remove water from garden hoses before storing away.
  10. Cover compost pile with plastic or straw.
  11. Drain fuel tanks on lawn mowers, leaf blowers, etc

Note:  Some of this information was taken from “The Old Farmers Almanac”. 

On the Products and Plants pages in this website, you will find some pdf’s on overwintering hydrangeas and roses.

Your Perennial Garden: What plants to cut back or leave until spring.

Before winter, remove all diseased debris and broken branches from your flower garden.  Discard any remaining annuals.

Recommended perennials to cut back in fall are:  bearded iris; monarda (bee balm) unless it is new growth; gaillardia (blanket flower); nepeta (catmint); columbine; daylily (now or spring); bush clematis; helianthus; hollyhock; ligularia (now or spring); penstemon; peony; and helianthus.

These perennials are recommended to leave for spring cutting:  asclepias (butterfly weed); chrysanthemums (mammoth mums); and heuchera (coral bells).

Birds will appreciate it if you leave echinacea (cone flowers) and rudbeckia (black-eye Susans) or any other seed producing plants standing through winter.

Spring Cleaning of Perennial Gardens

Soon the snow will be gone and it will be time to start cleaning up your perennial garden. First remove old foliage from perennial plants.  Cut the stalks back to about 1/2 inch above the ground unless it is a crown plant, i.e. sedums, coral bells, etc.  Only dead and damaged leaves need to be removed from the crown plants.  Cut back your perennial grasses to about 3-4 inches above the ground if you have not already done so. Maybe leave a few blades of this dried grass behind for the birds to build nests. Next rake up all the old garden debris and matted leaves as this matter is a great hiding spot for slugs and insects plus it harbors disease. Dig out weeds. For healthier plants with more blooms consider putting down a thin layer of compost followed by a time-release fertilizer. Now sit back and enjoy your future blooms.