The mornings are crisper, leaves and lawns are turning to reds and golds, and you're thinking about winter - and what to do about your garden.
Never fear: we have your five EASIEST winter gardening tips that won't bust your budget or your back. Here's how to garden for the cooler months to come.
Most plants won't need pruning in the fall - late winter and early spring tend to be the best times to prune - but you can and should cut back dry stems on perennials. Cut almost to the soil. This should also keep winter pests in check, as there's less for them to latch onto.
It's always a good time to mulch, but fall is one of the best times of the year because leaves are falling and grass is beginning to dry out. This means green and brown mulching materials are readily at hand, and you're probably already collecting them. Mulching can be done all year; use the compost you already have ready to go for your fall garden beds to enrich the soil for the chilly months ahead and move fresh clippings to your compost bins.
You don't have to stop growing just because the temperatures are falling. And you don't need to have a separate greenhouse if you don't have the room. Build an easy cold frame (or buy one) and cover rows you'll still be growing. Depending upon the frame, your crops and your growing zone, you may be able to keep growing all year this way.
As every gardener knows, now is the time to plant bulbs for beautiful blooms in the spring. Mark where you're planting, as well as the expected colors, so you don't disturb the area next spring or when you're doing your last-minute touches and cleanups this fall and winter.
Veggies are done for the summer/fall at different times, but don't let a surprise early frost get that last crop you were expecting. Cover plants loosely at night and watch the weather forecast. A cold frame (as shown above) can also help you get the most out of your summer veggies.
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