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Cold Weather Checklist, McDonald Garden Center

Cold Weather Checklist

Looking for ways to keep your green thumb green over the winter? Well, there are plenty of opportunities to work in the garden throughout those cold winter months. And, while most of us are more concerned with caring for our lawn and garden during the growing season, winter prep is just as important for keeping things looking good year-round. We’ve put together a list of essential tasks that should be done throughout the winter months to keep your lawn and garden in tip-top shape come springtime.

Bring Plants Indoors - Bring as many of your potted plants inside to ensure that they don’t freeze, plus it’s a lot easier for you to care for them inside instead of going out into the freezing cold!

Mulch - Mulch keeps plants warm and insulated, especially if they’re in the ground and not in pots. Spread a layer around the base and stems and replenish as necessary.

Cutting Back Perennials - Cut back perennials so they’ll be ready to blossom when spring rolls around. Simply cut off any large or extended pieces so that the plant is flush with the ground. This will help keep them from being eaten or frozen during harsh winter months.

Care For + Prune Shrubs & Hedges - Pruning encourages healthy growth come spring. A good rule of thumb is to prune spring-blooming shrubs immediately after flowering and summer-blooming shrubs during their dormant season. When pruning, cut a single angle about ¼ inch from the branch. Adding a layer of mulch around the base of plants will help provide insulation during winter. Watering prior to deep freezes also helps to insulate roots. Wait until spring to fertilize shrubs.

Tips for Trees - Keep limbs away from power lines and roofs. Branches can easily pull down gutters or cause other costly damage. You may want to consult a professional arborist prior to tree pruning. They’ll know the best method for your variety of trees and the best time of year for pruning. Typically, tree pruning should be done in early autumn or late spring.

Maintain Outdoor Fixtures - Just like plants, outdoor fixtures need special care to weather the cold. Walkways and patios can take a beating in cold weather since changes in temperature and humidity can cause concrete and brick to shift and settle unevenly. Keeping them free of water build-up and debris will reduce chances of winter damage. Proper drainage is also essential, so be sure moisture runs away from your foundation and foot path area.

Pamper Your Houseplants - Winter is the perfect time to pamper those houseplants that sometimes get neglected while you are busy tending to your outdoor landscape and garden during growing season. So be sure to provide a little TLC to your indoor plants to ensure they continue to add color and texture to your home all year-round.

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