University of Vermont Extension
Department of Plant and Soil Science
PREPARING GARDENS FOR WINTER
Dr. Leonard Perry, Extension
University of Vermont
reminders for both the indoor and outdoor garden are featured in the new 2008
North Country Garden Calendar from the Extension systems of Maine
tender perennials for the winter, dig gladiolus corms after a few hard frosts; air-dry for a few days and
store in a cool (above freezing), dark place. Dig dahlia roots after a killing
frost; pack in peat moss and store just above freezing.
to winter, test soil to prepare for next year’s garden.
Obtain a soil test kit from your local Extension office and
sampling guidelines. Many garden stores
also handle these Extension soil test kits.
If your lawn test shows a need for lime,
there’s still time to spread lime this fall before heavy
snows. Most lime takes a while to work, so by
applying it in fall your soils will be ready by spring. If your
vegetable garden test shows a need for
organic matter, rake fall leaves onto the garden, or make a note to
compost next spring prior to working.
to winter you can harvest fall vegetables.
Leave kale and Brussels
sprouts in the garden,
as needed for many weeks. Mulch parsnips
thickly to prevent early soil freezing, and harvest for many weeks.
fruit trees for the winter, mow around trees to eliminate “grass hotels” that rodents move toward in
winter. Install mouse-guard fencing
around fruit trees to keep mice from eating bark. Consider low-voltage electric
fencing to keep deer out of the home orchard.
the landscape for winter, stake paths and driveways for the snowblower
and snowplow. Drain hoses, replace hose washers, and store
hoses. Clean and oil tools, service lawn
mower, and sharpen pruning shears. Store
pesticides (above freezing). Store granular fertilizer where it will
with moisture. Remove annual weeds that
seed late, to keep them from going to seed in the spring.
gardens for winter, remove
plant debris from the vegetable garden and add it to your compost pile. Cut back perennials; cover with fir boughs after
the ground freezes. Stake perennials
that need dividing. The reminder will be welcome in April. Cover hybrid roses with a one-foot mound of
sifted compost or finely textured mulch.
indoor plants for winter, move plants with high light needs to south or
southwest windows. Group plants to increase the humidity around
them all. Greatly reduce watering of
cacti during winter to promote good spring flowering. Start a few
weeks, for winter-long flowering.
More such tips and
reminders for the other months of the year can be found in the 2008 North
Country Garden Calendar, available from the Extension systems of the
Universities of Maine and Vermont
(www.uvm.edu/mastergardener/). This calendar features moon phases and key
dates, plenty of space to make your own notes each day, and featured plants of
the month. Priced affordably ($7.50)
they make great gifts for the holidays.
Return to Perry's Perennial