How to protect your garden from cold weather

It is important to protect all the hard work done in spring, summer and fall before cold weather sets in. Jenn explains how to protect your plants by focusing on water, clean up, and protection.

What is the best time to prepare plants for winter?

November is the best time to make sure your garden has a healthy growing season for next spring. Protect your garden from the harsh winter elements because you have worked so hard in spring, summer and fall.

How to prepare your garden for winter

1. Water

Although it varies from year to year, statistically speaking, plants don’t get much water between October and November. Plants are already thirsty by the time of the winter freeze in December. Instead of waiting for April rains to bring water to plants, make sure they are hydrated before it happens.

A few rainy-type soaks in the fall months are all that is needed to prepare shrubs and plants for winter.

2. Get Clean

It is important to give your garden plants a quick cleaning in order to preserve the hard work they have put into the spring, summer and fall. The type of plant will dictate how you do this clean-up.

  • Perennials: If you have perennials that come back year after year, trim them to 2 inches from the soil when they begin to brown.
  • Annuals: These plants aren’t able to return year after year. The best way to get rid of them is to let them decay on a compost heap. You can also plant bulbs if you have them.
  • Ornamental grasses are your choice. You can either cut them back at the end or leave them to give the winter some texture. If you choose to keep them, cut them in February or March to stop new growth.

3. Protect

After the plants have been watered and cleaned up it is time to protect them from the weather. There are many ways to protect garden plants. These include cover, insulation, sprays, and sprays.

How to make DIY Winter Plant Covers

  • Mulch: Mulch is often thought of as a spring activity. However, mulching 2 to 4 inches will protect roots, retain moisture and insulate from extreme temperatures. To protect tender roots, you can use bark mulch, hay or shredded leaves.
  • Anti-desiccants are important for garden plants like broadleaf evergreens and plants that live near walkways that have a lot of salts. They can quickly lose their moisture to the winter winds. The anti-desiccant can be applied to the leaves to trap moisture and prevent Jack Frost from taking their precious H2O.
  • Twine: Sometimes all that is needed to protect a plant during winter is a little twine. Twine can be wrapped around a shrub or plant to keep its branches together and preserve its structure in heavy snow.
  • Burlap: Burlap is a good choice for areas that are subject to heavy traffic, snow, salt or wind. Burlap can be wrapped around plants and tied with twine. This will allow airflow and moisture to pass through the plant.


Tips for winterizing your garden. She will show you how to winterize different plants, such as echinaceas, mums and tulip bulbs.

She also recommends ways to protect shrubs during winter, such as using anti-desiccant sprays, burlap and twine. Garden centers can source all plants and materials.

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