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How to Prepare Your Garden for Winter in Minnesota

Here are five steps that we recommend:
  • Remove all debris: You need to remove any plant that can or has harbored pests and burn it. If these plants remain in your garden, they may house destructive insects all winter long. Be sure to completely remove any plant that suffered disease during the growing season as well. Lastly, remove all weeds nearing maturity by their roots. This prevents them from dropping their seeds and finding a garden full of weeds next spring.
  • Amend your garden soil: Mid to late fall is the ideal time to amend the soil in your garden to return nutrients it consumed during the growing season. Adding a layer of shredded leaves or compost will provide important nutrition as well.
  • Keep watering plants in the fall: Anything you planted this fall, such as bulbs, trees, shrubs, or perennials, need consistent watering until the point where they go dormant. Your soil also needs the water to aid in the breaking down or organic material so it can produce enough nutrients for your spring garden. Pay attention to rain and light snowfall and water your plants accordingly.
  • Consider mulch: Adding mulch to your garden in mid to late fall helps to protect it from the cycles of freezing and thawing we’re sure to experience before spring 2018 makes its official appearance. It also provides extra cushioning to prevent breakage cause by snow and ice. Straw, grass clippings, pine needles, and other lighter materials make ideal mulching options.
  • Clean your gardening supplies before storing them: When the time comes to store your stakes, plant supports, and other supplies for the winter, be sure to clean, organize, and inventory them first. If you need to throw away broken equipment, make a note of what you will need to purchase new next spring. Additionally, make sure that you drain hoses, rain barrels, and drip irrigations to prevent damage when the water freezes.
Please don’t hesitate to contact The Lawnsmith if you have additional questions about your garden or would like to hire our crew to help with the any part of the process.

Photo Credit: Muzka / Getty Images