It’s harvest season in your garden. The tomatoes are ripe and practically falling off the vine, the summer squash is fat and heavy, the peppers are colorful, and your onions are turning yellow just in time for fall. The early part of autumn is a busy time for any gardener and there’s still plenty of harvesting to do, but if you live in a colder climate, the first snowfall isn’t far away. Once you’ve finished harvesting all the delicious fresh vegetables you’ve been tending to all summer long, it’s going to be time to get your garden ready to survive the winter so that you can do it all over again in the spring.
Use this checklist when it’s time to get your garden and backyard ready for the winter.
- Finish the Harvest
Depending on where you live, harvest season can go quite long. Some of the last herbs and vegetables that are ready to be harvested will include chives, mint, cilantro, parsley, and rosemary for herbs, and vegetables like celery, carrots, cabbage, winter squash, parsnips, and kale. Once these are on your kitchen table, it’s time to begin.
It’s not the most fun part of gardening, but it’s essential to a healthy, fruitful garden. It’s also important to get rid of any diseased or infected plants so that they don’t spread. Get rid of anything that could be a source of bugs or that didn’t grow well. Odd coloring is another sign that it might be infected. Fall makes it easier to get rid of bad plants and weeds as it’s easier to find the strongest roots and pull the plant out whole.
- Protect New Garden Beds
Establishing new perennials is a difficult task and they are especially vulnerable in the winter. Covering new garden beds that you added this year will help them survive. Drape a garden cloche over the garden you want to protect. However, vegetable gardens don’t need to be protected from the winter weather as much. A simple cold frame can help you keep growing winter vegetables.
- Cutting and Pruning
There are some plants you will want to let die naturally and come back in the spring, but many flowering trees, vines, and shrubs benefit from a prune before the winter. You will also want to remove spent stalks and other debris. This can be a natural home for pests you don’t want.
- Winterize Your Gazebo
A gazebo is a lovely addition to a large garden that lets you spend time relaxing out of the sun. If you have recently set up a gazebo in your garden, you should learn about how to winterize it properly. Put away all the gazebo furniture and give it a good cleaning. Sweep away debris and follow it up by washing it thoroughly to get gunk out of the crevices. You may even want to scrub parts.
Getting your garden ready for winter means it will be healthier and more productive come spring time.