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    Preparing Your Garden for Winter

    Fall is finally upon us, and with it comes the inevitable slowing down of garden activity. At Jovak Landscape and Design, we know that your garden work does not always end with the arrival of fall. If you would like to reduce the amount of work facing you during next spring, consider taking some of these landscape maintenance steps for preparing your garden for winter.

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    1. Clean Up Dying Plants

    Old plants not only look untidy but they can also harbour pests, diseases, and fungi. Removing dying plants from the soil surface or burying them in the garden (if they are disease free) can prevent pests from getting a head start come springtime. Burying old plants in your garden is also a great way to add organic matter to your soil by improving the soils overall health.

    2. Remove Invasive Weeds

    Dig up invasive plants and place them in the trash or burn them on autumn burn piles. Most invasive weeds can remain viable in a compost heap or weed pile. Removing invasive weeds completely from your garden is the only way to prevent those plants from sprouting all over again and disrupting next year’s plants.

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    3. Prepare Your Soil for Spring

    While most people tend to wait until the springtime to dig in soil amendments, like manure, compost, bone meal, kelp, and rock phosphate, fall is an ideal time to take on this task. In most climates, adding nutrients at this time of year means that the amendments have time to start breaking down, enriching your soil, and becoming biologically active. Amending, turning, or digging soil in the fall means that you will already have done some of the work when spring rolls around. Once you have added your amendments to your garden, make sure to cover the bed with sheet plastic or another type of covering in order to ensure that the amendments are not washed below active roots.

    4. Plant Cover Crops

    Late summer to early fall is a good time in many climates to sow cover crops such as rye, vetch, or clover. These crops can help prevent soil erosion, break up compacted areas, and increase levels of organic matter. While a general guideline is to plant cover crops about one month before the first killing frost, some cover crops are more resilient than others.

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    5. Replenish Mulch

    Mulching in the winter offers many of the same benefits as mulching in the summertime. Some of the advantages that mulching in the wintertime has to offer include:

    • Reducing water loss
    • Protecting the soil from erosions
    • Inhibiting weeds
    • Regulating soil temperature and moisture
    • Adding a buffer against hard frosts
    • Prolonging your crops
    • Adding fresh organic material into the soil

    If you would like to learn more about preparing your garden for winter, or if you are interested in one of our services, please contact Jovak Landscape and Design at 604-866-7186 or by filling out a contact form on our website. You can also stay up to date with the latest landscaping news by following us on Facebook.