Garden Prep For Chilly Weather

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Colder weather shouldn’t be an excuse to ignore your lawn. Rather, it’s the perfect time to prepare your garden for winter so it comes back to life better than ever next spring. Here are some simple tasks from Tilly, the online landscape design company with one cofounder, Sarah Finazzo, from Port Washington. Tilly is changing the way homeowners approach their gardens. The process removes the prohibitive cost, intimidation and inconvenience from traditional landscape design services, while delivering professional, custom plans that reflect your style, space and needs. So let’s see what you can tackle this Autumn to have the best garden on the block next spring.

Plant bulbs

Invest in your springtime garden now. As soon as the weather stays reliably chilly, it’s time to think about planting bulbs. One thing to keep in mind is that bulbs are more forgiving than we think. You can dig a hole, throw a handful of daffodils in, and cover them up. No need to worry about their spacing or directionality. They will come up and look like a lovely little natural grouping.

Dig and divide perennials that have gotten too big

Transplant perennials and even shrubs that no longer fit in their location. Planting in cooler weather allows for good root growth (roots grow best in cool soil) with a lower amount of water than what is necessary to nurture the same plants through spring and summer. And the key to healthy plants is good roots.

Transplant ground cover to fill in gaps in your coverage

Take it from a back-of-the-border or less conspicuous location and fill in that bare spot by your front door.

Heel in any plants you purchased that haven’t yet found their forever home

If you leave them out of the ground in their pots the roots will likely freeze and they will struggle to come back in the spring. Mulch tender perennials and roses to help them better survive the winter. Think of mulch as a necessary blanket to help protect them from the harsh weather.

Remove pesky perennial weeds

Poke weed, thistle and knot weed, for example, should be removed to get a jump on spring maintenance.

Dig compost into your beds

This step will give your flower beds a nutritional jump start in spring.

—Submitted by Tilly

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