As fall progresses and temperatures drop, plants are preparing for dormancy. While it appears as if all activity in the garden has stopped, there's a lot going on under the soil until it freezes. Newly transplanted trees and shrubs, divisions of perennials, and hardy bulbs are all growing roots, drawing on soil nutrients and moisture around them. Earthworms and various microbes in the soil are still processing the organic material they're finding. Even with all of this going on under the surface, your plants need protection from the cold, frigid weather. With all of this in mind, you can get around winter in a breeze with these helpful tips!
Perennials are designed to grow back year after year, even when the winter strikes. Just like bears, perennials go into hibernation and wake up well-rested and brighter than ever! Each perennial is different and it's important to understand how the cold affects each one. Perennials are the easiest of all to prepare for winter; they simply need a little cutting back and mulching to protect from the cold winter ahead, but may need a little more maintenance if they are used to warmer climates.
Preparing Cool-Climate Annuals
Preparing Warm-Climate Annuals
Preparing Cool-Cimate Trees and Shrubs
Preparing Warm-Climate Trees and Shrubs
Editor's Tip: Screen evergreens, particularly exposed broad-leaved types, from drying winter wind and sun by setting up burlap screens or shade cloth shelters.
Roses are so beautiful that it's difficult to begrudge them the extra attention they require over the growing season. As cool fall weather brings on their dormant period, one final job remains for you: preparing them for winter. As a group, hybrid tea roses are the most vulnerable to winter cold and need the most preparation, while the easiest roses to grow and care for are shrub roses. Easy-care roses will need mulch or compost to keep their base warm, while more fragile roses will need some sort of protective covering, like a rose cone or cloche.
Cool Climate Vegetables
Warm Season Vegetables