- Rake up and remove any remaining leaves from the fall and winter.
- Remove any wraps, covers, or other types of protections placed around plants that needed extra protection through the winter.
- Edge around your vegetable garden and/or flower beds. Not only does this create a tidier appearance, but it also creates an edge for adding mulch. Add mulch around perennials.
- Pull weeds.
- Fertilize areas where you’ll be planting, as well as around trees, shrubs, and perennials.
- Prune trees and shrubs.
- Plant cool-season vegetables.
- Repair hardscaping issues. Early spring is the best time to repair paths and retaining walls.
- Keep your covers handy for any freezes or frosts.
- Plant new perennials, “hardy” annuals, trees, and shrubs.
- Add fresh mulch to any new plantings.
- Deadhead flowers to encourage the plant to store energy for the following season.
- Harvest your early spring vegetables and plant your warm-season vegetables such as tomatoes and herbs.
- Prepare to plant your summer annuals.
- Plant your summer bulbs. Do this only after the possibility of frost is completely gone.
- Have a plan for ongoing weed control.
- Add mulch. Mulch helps reduce weeds and keep moisture in the soil during summer heat.
- Have a plan for watering responsibly.
- Plant your warm-weather crops such as squashes and peppers.
- Have a plan for pest control which can include plant-based pest solutions, low impact pesticides, and other natural options such as adding ladybugs and praying mantises to your garden.
- Plant bulbs for late summer and fall.
- Plant annuals during the summer that will not only make a beautiful display of color, but will attract beneficial bugs to your garden.
- Plant cool-weather vegetable seeds in summer to enjoy a fall time harvest of vegetables like broccoli and carrots.
- Cover plants if we begin to have cool temperatures in order to prolong their season.
- Keep watering any flowers or veggies now that the irrigation will be ending soon in some areas.
- It’s the perfect time to plant perennials, trees and shrubs because the warm ground will help them to root in before the cold weather arrives.
- Plant fall mums and pansies now for a burst of fall color that will last well into the season. Fall pansies will bloom throughout the warm days to come, then winter over and return for that first burst of color next spring.
- Enjoy the abundance that is your fruit orchard this month. Apples should be just about ready!
- Purchase spring bulbs like daffodils, crocus, and tulips now but wait until the weather cools before planting.
- Purchase your seeds for next summer’s garden now while the supply is good.
- Bring in any houseplants or other plants you want to save from frost before the cold nights arrive.
- Deadhead and weed as needed to keep your plants looking their best. Weeds compete against desirable plants for water and nutrients, so it’s especially important to eliminate them.
- Add protective coverings to sensitive plants that may need increased insulation.
- Maintain ponds and water features to ensure they do not ice over.
- Winter is a great time to make sure all of your tools are in good working order and ready for the spring.
- This is also a great time to clean out and organize a shed or garage while you wait for the return of planting season.
How To Deal with Unexpected Frosts and Freezes
In our area of the country, cold nights happen in just about any month of the year. Many times the National Weather Service will issue a frost or freeze warning. Other times they don’t. So, gardeners need to be aware of nighttime temperatures throughout the growing season.
Here are our recommendations to help you protect your plants no matter whether it’s early spring when you’ve just planted them, an unexpected cold snap in the summer, or in the fall if you’re not ready to be finished with your garden just yet!
- Just as a blanket will keep you warm, it will also keep your plants warm! Cover plants with a sheet, newspaper, or bucket. Make a tent using poles or some other kind of support and drape a blanket, sheet, or even newspaper over it to keep the frost off tender plants.
- Avoid using plastic coverings. Plastic attracts the cold and may harm plants. Walls O Water, Season Extenders, and hot kaps are not only for tomatoes. Use these, if you have them, to protect any plants.
- As counter intuitive as it sounds, use water if you have access to it. Water insulates and wet soil retains four times more heat than dry soil. So if you have access to water, set it to come on between 3 am – 4 am. This is the coldest time of the night. Let it run until the sun is up. The water forms a layer of ice that will work to protect the foliage underneath. This trick works well for a frost but not so well with a hard freeze. If plants do show some signs of frost damage, wait a few days in order to give them time to recover before pulling them up.
- If you don’t have sheets, blankets, or newspaper, we have a good supply of frost guard, pop ups, and row covers to put over your plants.
- Don’t forget to drain your hoses, birdbaths, and other water holding items to prevent them from freezing or cracking.
Call us at (970) 565-8274 if you have any questions about specific plants. We are happy to help!