Garden Experts Mark and Ben Cullen give us their list of things to do to get your gardens ready for winter.
We have been busy in our gardens getting ready for winter. Invest some time now for a great looking garden come spring. Here is a list of our recommended activities:
- Apply Wilt-pruf to broad leaved evergreens like rhododendrons, boxwood, holly and the like to prevent winter desiccation (apply when temperatures are above freezing).
- Start your amaryllis bulbs now to make sure you are ready for our 2020 amaryllis photo contest. Every year we host an amaryllis photo contest. You will find contest details in our February newsletter. Start your amaryllis now and take photos when the fabulous blooms are at their peak. Subscribe to our newsletter for more info.
- Wrap fruit trees. Wrap the trunk of fruit trees with a plastic spiral guard to prevent rodent damage in winter. Mice and rabbits can wreak havoc on young, tender bark.
- Plant garlic cloves about 4 cm deep and 10 cm apart. Use loose, open, sandy soil as they like water to drain away from them. Your garlic crop will be ready to harvest next August. Watch our video.
- Wrap evergreens with two layers of burlap. One layer to protect against the burning sun as it reflects off snow and another to protect evergreens from wind. This is especially true for cedars, junipers and like, that are on the east side of a road, where they catch the prevailing west wind with salt spray. Watch our video.
- After the first serious frost, dig up your dahlias and lay the ‘bulbs’ (tubers) in the sun to dry for a day or two. Store in a large, craft paper leaf bag with dry peat moss or shredded newspaper in a cool but DRY place. Plan to plant them up in March for a repeat performance next season.
- Do not cut back fall flowering ornamental grasses, coneflower, rudebeckia and all of the autumn flowering plants that produce a seed head. The birds will forage the seeds well past the first snow fall.
- Rake leaves onto your garden. Off your lawn, on to your garden. Or into your compost pile. Either way, they will rot down over the winter and provide needed nourishment to all plants that grow. Do not put them to the curb. Watch our video.
- And look for the 2020 edition of Harrowsmith’s Almanac. Amazingly packed with essential information. www.harrowsmithmag.com Enjoy the last days of fall gardening and be sure to visit us at Canada Blooms, March 13 to 22, 2020. It will be an early spring!∼ Mark and Ben
For more advice and answers to over 10,000 gardening questions, visit www.markcullen.com and sign up for Mark and Ben’s free monthly newsletter.