I’m still getting the garden ready for winter.
My idea is to keep the season going as long as possible. So dress warmly and go outside and be among the soothing aura of plants.
Here’s a list of smart things to do now.
1-Stock up on mulch
Even one bag stashed in a sheltered place is handy to have on hand during the winter for small garden clean ups. Remember when mulch was hard to find in the spring? It’s getting that way now, so call around to see where supplies are.
2-Save the bags from mulch and potting soil
Have you noticed how thick and strong those bags that contain mulch are? They are much more durable than garbage bags. If they are clear they could even be used in a DIY cold frame. I saved a bunch, rinsed them out and stashed in the basement.
3-Save some potting soil
If you used new potting soil this season, save some of it in a garbage can and put a lid on it.
I managed to find potting soil without the ugly white bits of perlite in it. So it’s stored in a can at the side of the house. It will be ready to use next season (maybe add some compost to it for nutrition) and handy if I need some over the winter. Potting soil was also in short supply this past spring.
4-Filler is your friend
Remember the trick next spring of filling your large containers with “filler” before adding soil. I used bits of styrofoam, and plastic bags with holes in them. The deep containers usually don’t need soil right to the bottom, so the filler helps to keep them lighter, but still sturdy enough for big plants.
5-Use leaves as an organic tarp
I did stockpile some potting soil in the garden. But I didn’t want to look at the pile, and have it beat up by wind and rain. So as an experiment, I covered the pile with banana leaves harvested before the plants came indoors for the winter. I noticed before, how long the thick, leathery leaves of banana take to decompose, so decided to experiment by using them for protection, rather than something ugly like a tarp.
6-Rethink your rake
As you tidy up the garden for winter, remember that mulch can be distributed more smoothly by using the back of a leaf rake. The backside of the rake levels the mulch rather than gathering it up to be moved here and there.
7-Time to start loving your house plants
If possible gather a bunch of house plants together. It looks cheerful, they are easier to take care of and it has more design impact. Don’t overwater-and keep checking for bugs.