The beautiful days have barely made their appearance with all their magnificent promises and we must already think about the aftermath. Indeed, as time flies, autumn will soon knock on our doors, sounding the death knell for our gardens and vegetable gardens. In order to enjoy our flowers and shrubs again next spring, here are a few tips to prepare the garden for the winter period.
Time for the last harvest
Now is the time to harvest whatever is left in your garden before the first frost. If you are lucky enough to have a cold storage room, you can store your vegetables there. Otherwise, they should be kept in a cold, dry place. If you have fresh herbs left over, why not dry or freeze them to enjoy them all year long?
Should we rake the leaves or not?
Protecting your garden for the winter
An unloved chore if ever there was one, is it really necessary to rake up all the leaves in the yard in the fall? Packed with nutrients, dead leaves contribute to the overall health of the soil. You can leave them in your flower beds or under trees and shrubs.
However, large maple or oak leaves should be removed from the lawn as they smother the lawn and prevent water from penetrating the soil. Too much leaf litter can also kill the grass, resulting in a patchy yellow lawn in April.
If you don’t want to pick them up at all, just run the mower over the dry leaves. This way, they won’t harm the soil and can even be used as mulch.
Operation Weed Control
To get the next gardening season off to a good start, it’s a good idea to remove any stubborn weeds in your flower and vegetable beds. Also clean up around your trees and shrubs.
Take the opportunity to add a layer of mulch, which will make your life easier by limiting unwanted plants while improving the aesthetics of your landscaping. Don’t be afraid to use mulch; too thin a layer will be ineffective in protecting the roots from biting cold and preventing weeds from growing.
A 10 to 15 cm layer is recommended to take advantage of the benefits of mulch.
Maintenance of perennials
Contrary to popular belief, it is not necessary to cut your perennials completely as winter approaches. It all depends on the age of the plant and its flowering period. Indeed, it would be a shame to deprive yourself of the magnificent flowers of certain autumn varieties.
In addition, their foliage makes it easier to retain snow, which adds a natural layer of protection. As for young plants less than three years old, they don’t need to be cut down to ground level. Finally, it is important to remove damaged and diseased branches so as not to contaminate healthy plants next spring.
Snow remains the most effective way to protect plants during the harsh Quebec winters. However, certain more fragile varieties need special protection against the bitter weather or the weight of snow and ice.
Ideally, depending on the region, winter protection should be installed as early as November, just before the first snowfall and when night temperatures reach about -5°C. In addition, before covering the plants, it is important to wait until they have lost all their leaves and to ensure that they can breathe well under their shelter.
In the spring, the covers should be removed as soon as the ground thaws on a cloudy day.
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