Friday, December 18, 2009

Winter Garden Clean Up

If a killing freeze has turned sections of your garden from vibrant to drab, you need to do a little “winter cleaning” for the look and health of your garden. Annuals that have turned brown need to be taken out and perennials that go dormant over the winter need to be clipped back. Not only will this maintenance make your garden look better, but it can improve the health of your garden by removing hiding places for pests to spend the winter in. This is especially true for beds of asparagus.

After pulling out the dead annuals and clipping back the dormant perennials, you may discover some winter weeds that need to be pulled. Once you have completed these tasks, it is a great time to freshen your mulch. It is easiest to do now, when there are no plants to mulch around. If you are in a part of the country with mild winters, you may even want to put in some pansies or snapdragons.

The photos accompanying this article are of a portion of one of my front beds. Annual cosmos predominates in shades of yellow and orange during the summer, right up to the first freeze. After the freeze, the now brown plants were taken out and the ripened seeds scattered back into the garden for next year. I added a layer of no float cypress mulch before putting out my polar bear holiday decoration. I will put in some cold hardy annuals along the edge of the walk after the holidays.

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