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13 Things You Must Do to Protect Your Garden this Winter

December 05, 2019

Prep your garden for winter chill with these must-do tasks.

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Photo: Toro

Move Leaves

Get leaves off the lawn before the snow falls. Leaves that remain on lawns as snow starts to pile up tend to mat, which in turn creates ideal conditions for snow mold to form on grass. Try to rake and remove leaves as soon as possible after the major fall drop occurs.

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Photo: State Arboretum of Virginia

Protect Pollinators

As you tackle fall clean-up, avoid creating an environment that’s devoid of any autumn leaves. Swirls of leaves beneath shrubs or along fences can provide winter hiding places for beneficial insects. It’s also important to have some areas with bare soil to give beneficial insects that burrow underground for winter a fighting chance.

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Photo: Preen

Put Down Mulch

Winter mulch is one of the best things you can do to help improve soil for the long term. A winter mulch layer protects plant roots, a boon with plants prone to frost heave. Mulch also keeps soil warm longer, which means worms stay active longer into the season, continuing to improve the soil through their burrowing activities.

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Photo: Julie Martens Forney

Water New Plants

Keep a few watering cans or buckets handy to give new additions to the landscape a drink during winter thaws. This is especially vital when winter doesn’t bring rains or snowfall. Newly planted trees, shrubs and perennials often fail to survive winter due to drought stress more than cold.

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