Winter is coming – You’ve dropped fertilizer and grass seed as needed, moved the houseplants inside and splurged on a new pair of fleece-lined gardening gloves. But don’t pick up that steaming mug of apple cider just yet! There’s still a wheelbarrow full of to-do’s to ensure that your garden makes it safely to Spring…
Shrubs & Trees
Now’s the time to plant those container-grown and balled-and-burlapped beauties. You should begin by mid-October but it’s fine if you’re just getting started now – West Coast weather is pretty forgiving. What matters is making sure that the roots are established before the ground freezes (roots grow in soil temperatures above 4.5° Celsius). Don’t jump the gun on the bare-root trees and shrubs! These hardy customers can wait until mid-winter for a transplant.
Annuals & Perennials
It’s bulb-planting time! Daffs, crocus, tulips, hyacinth, anemone… Just don’t grab the trowel until the ground temperature drops to at least 15.5° Celsius. And make sure to label your bulbs before the big dirt nap! As nice as surprises are, it’s nicer knowing what’s going on in your beds. When it comes to fall-blooming perennials, that first killing-frost can be a… killer. Keep one eye on the weather but a wooden frame and a bed sheet does a fine job of foiling frostbite. That’s not the only autumnal maintenance you’ll need to perform. Be sure to harvest the seeds from your annuals and perennials, cleaning up the woody ones with a good pruning and treating them to some much-needed mulch. Most of these bad boys can thrive well into winter – give your sedum, hosta and ornamental grasses a chance.
Fruits & Vegetables
The tasty stuff will keep you busy! First, get your bell peppers out of there before Jack Frost drops in. Then it’s time to collect the pumpkins, gourds, corn and other centerpiece veggies. Next, divide your overcrowded rhubarb and hit your root veggies with a liberal layer of mulch. Do it right and you can be in yams, carrots and turnips all winter long. Berry vines need attention, as well. Prune them by removing the vines that fruited, leaving the new growth to guarantee pies and jam next season. Now’s the time to plant your garlic, shallots and overwintering onions, too.
Cleanup & Maintenance
You’ve almost earned that apple cider but there are a few more things to look after. Don’t forget basic housekeeping! Distribute the rest of your mulch over your garden, clean up dead leaves, split some firewood and fix some tools. Don’t forget to get any digging done before the ground freezes up as well!
Don’t Make Work for Yourself
Some tasks should be suspended over winter. Don’t water your shrubs and trees once they’ve shed their leaves. It’s time to dial back your irrigation efforts, even with the indoor plants (unless of course, you’re planting evergreens, which require lots of water before the ground freezes). It’s important that you don’t trim your hedges now – frigid temperatures easily kill new growth and harm the entire plant.
NOW, pour yourself a mug of hot apple cider, put your feet up and browse the seed catalog! You’ve earned it. OR contact our team today and we will gladly help you out in any of these mentioned tasks!