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Preparing your garden for colder months

Sana Ahmed, staff writer
September 13, 2011 — Experts advise to prepare gardens for winter months, so that they remain protected against the colder season.

Fall is also a good time to clean your garden by removing weeds
Fall is also a good time to clean your garden by removing weeds

It’s a sure sign that colder months are approaching when leaves start to turn colour. In some areas of Canada, that can happen as early as late September. If you’ve taken the time throughout the summer to spruce up your garden, don’t let your efforts go to waste. Experts suggest taking care of plants throughout the colder months.

There are some plants that are particularly sensitive and require extra care and attention. Some fruit trees and Japanese maples are such plants.

“Certain plants like Japanese maples need to be wrapped because they need insulation,” explains Dean Schofield horticulturist and owner of Landmark Landspacing Inc. “You would need to take fall leaves and put them around the base of the Japanese maple and make a canvas-like shelter. The insulation will protect the plant and its roots against the fall and winter winds.”

“There are some plants that are border-lined in terms of the zones they are acclimatized to. Quite often they are imported from places like Oregon and they are slightly more temperate. They’ve spent their time growing in warmer climates.”

This happens quite often when they are imported into Canada. The needs of plants are different depending on their type. But, typically, tropical plants need to be moved indoors.

Around the time when temperatures are starting to dip, gardeners should also be mindful of how much water is being given to gardens. Experts say that if your garden is comprised of heavy clay soil or if it’s in a low-lying area, be careful to not overwater it.

“In the fall months, people should water their garden as late as possible in the season,” advises Schofield. “That’s because if we have a dry fall, it really affects the plant material in the winter.”

When these basic steps are followed, it’ll be easier to maintain a garden when spring and summer roll around.

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