With the coming of cold weather, we all wonder what Mother Nature has in store for us come spring. There are several things we can do to keep the plants we cared for over the past year to come up healthy as warm weather approaches.
First, start by raking up the leaves around your plants and pulling out the weeds, as this will give you a head start as your plants pop through the dirt come spring. Dig up tender bulbs and store them over the winter.
Get rid of dead plants and trim perennials leaving about a one inch stem above ground to prevent rot and to keep away insects. Add a two inch layer of mulch to keep roots warm and to protect them from sudden temperature changes allowing water to flow, keeping the roots hydrated and prevent tissue damage. Cover plants and shrubs with a cloth fabric to prevent damage from an overnight frost. Do not use plastic, as it restricts air flow. Remove covering during the day to give them needed sunlight and fresh air. If some of your plantings are in small containers, bring them indoors storing them in a basement or garage for the duration of the winter. Larger container plants could be dug up and re-potted, then put back in the warmer weather.