Monday, September 13, 2010

How to Winterize Flower Beds

Winterize Flower Beds
image courtesy of

As many of you know from the Secret Garden Tour, I have a garden and it makes such a difference in quality of life when living in an urban environment.  Perhaps, it's because finding a place with outdoor space is so difficult.  
As winter approaches and nature begins to settle in for a long nap, our flower beds will need a little attention if we want them to produce beautiful, hearty plants in the Spring. With just a few basic steps you can winterize your beds and encourage healthy plant growth.


Things You'll Need:

  • Gardening gloves
  • Rake
  • Compost or rich topsoil
  • Heavy mulch
  1. The annuals will need to come out first, root and all. It is rare that seeds from them can survive the winter so it is best to remove them from beds.

  2. Cut back rose bushes, crepe myrtles and other perennial bushes carefully. Remove and either dispose of cuttings or use them in a compost bin. If using in a compost bin, break them down as much as possible. Usually, ornament grasses can be left untrimmed, but do remove any dead or brown leaves and stalks. Evergreens should be cut back well after the first frost. Again, remove cuttings and dispose or use in compost.

  3. It is probably best not to add fertilizer at this stage. Plants need to be allowed to go through their natural wintering process so they can naturally recover as temperatures warm.

  4. Fall is an excellent time to plant bulbs. Start with healthy bulbs and plant them according to directions. Remember, many bulb plants spread so you may want to allow for that when planting them. Fall is also a great time to plant certain trees and shrubs. It is best to consult a nursery to find out which shrubs and trees do well in your planting area.

  5. Rake back any old mulch from around plants and bushes. Spread an even layer of rich topsoil over the entire bed, using a rake to get an even covering. Put extra soil around the base of young perennials. ut back the old mulch and add new mulch evenly over the bed. Again, add additional mulch to the base of young plantings. Be careful not to over-cover your bulbs!

  6. Take a day to clean up after the beautiful summer display of flowers and foliage and you'll be rewarded with a renewal of beauty in spring.

Information Provided by Donna Antonucci
Prudential Castle Point Realty

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