Prepare Your Perennial Plants for Winter Time

Edited by Witz Taluban, Robbi, Lynn, Anonymous and 1 other

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Winter time comes once a year. And most perennial plants are susceptible to reduced growth and production, and in worst cases rot. To prevent this from happening, an effective approach can be done or prepared. Your perennial plants could survive the winter time by following this thorough guide. Fasten your seat belts and get ready for the ride of your life!

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Steps

  1. 1
    Do a snappy cleanup.
    Clean up the perennial beds, as this will ensure easy mulching (explained below of course). Clear out your perennial bed by using pruners, pruning twigs and excess roots. Furthermore you want optimal organization by removing any cluttered designs of your perennial bed, remember efficiency and quality is more highly regarded than design. Plants that have seeded should be taken out of sight.

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  2. 2
    Cutouts and feeding.
    Cut out plants that have stopped blooming. You can opt for not cutting them, as it will provide natural protection for plants. Plants which are woody should not be cut back. Decide for better organization by removing extra stalks and twigs. Plants and produce results from March to June should be organized or separated for better harvesting, and perennials which bloom later should not be touched. In addition, create space in crowded patches. This will speed up your normal harvesting, and provide more time for other things and prevent crowding. A good thing to practice is feeding your perennials with organic fertilizers, this should be done by fall, applying thick layers for mostly about four layers to the soil bed. Doing so can plump up your soil with nutritious food for your plants.

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  3. 3
    Mulching the proper way.
    Cold spells can strike plants, and usually ones which are affected by little amount of snow are the most susceptible. Apply natural or organic mulches on your perennial beds with dried or falling leaves. It can also be licorice roots. This would secure the plants' health and make the ground intact.
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Other Procedure

  1. 1
    Plants that are grown in locations with little snow suffer during unusual coldness.
    They need 3- or 2-inch winter mulch. These is composed of organic materials like pine needles, licorice roots, or shredded leaves. The mulch helps maintain a constant temperature so that the soil does not expand (heave) and thaw out prematurely when coated with ice and frost particles and it shield plants from unusual coldness.
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  2. 2
    Before adding mulch in winter, you must make a garden bed clean.
    Destroy all weeds and remove dead foliage. Distribute the mulch after the ground freezes.
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  3. 3
    Preview your garden.
    If you want improvements, choose where you would want to locate your new perennials and mark these areas. You may jot down the name of the plant on every marker. This allows spring planting much better and easier.
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  4. 4
    Plan your perennial bed layout.
    Write and sketch your plans in a paper and make changes while you clear up fall remains and as you prepare plants for winter.
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  5. 5
    Begin the preparation by cleaning the perennial beds.
    Remove any debris like twigs and limbs. If you have decorative goods tucked in your perennials, remove them and store. Decorative signs and statues. This last longer if stored away from the winter months.
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  6. 6
    Pruning, weeding, and trimming.
    You may cut plants that have stopped blooming, and tops that have died. But you can also leave them like that, this provides extra shield against the cold temperature. In spring, cut withered plants and rake the left dead stalks. You want to cut them in fall, cut them at about eight to ten inches above the ground. Woody plants should not be cut or pruned. Perform weeding around the perennials. Remove plants that are not anymore attractive or not performing well.
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  7. 7
    Separate and move plants.
    Fall is the season when you have to separate early blooming perennials like plants that bloom from March to June. Late-blooming perennials like those that bloom in late June must not be divided until spring. Perennial plants that grown close together that are spreading and crowding into unwanted place must be divided and moved.
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  8. 8
    Place deep layer of mulch around your perennials.
    The mulch will shield them against the winter and aids in keeping your perennial beds ready for extra mulching in the spring. Let the falling leaves stay on top of the mulched beds to offer additional layer of nutrients and protection for the perennials. Every spring, if the perennials poke its first shoots, they are strong and healthy.
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  9. 9
    Turf survive in winter best if you fertilize it this fall while it is green.
    Use a lawn fertilizer with a higher first number and lower numbers like 24-7-7. This specifically applicable to fescue, bluegrass, and ryegrass. As long as the lawn is green, mow it 2 ½ - 3 inch height. Do not mow it while it is still green. It is great to aerate the lawn and water it until it becomes brown. Water it once a month in the winter most especially when the snow coating is less.
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Vegetable Plants

  1. 1
    Remove old vegetable plants and vines.
    Insect pests that eat these plants on summer and usually lay eggs on the old plants. When the vines are left on soil surface, insect eggs will survive in the winter and hatch on spring.
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  2. 2
    If plants are not ailing, you may work on old plants back into the garden soil.
    This places valuable organic matter to the soil, and destroys the eggs and insects.
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  3. 3
    Aside from the garden debris, other organic material may be included in the soil.
    You may use peat, compost, leaves, or well-rotted manure. Beneficial soil insects and soil micro-organisms may aid incorporate these materials into the soil after the ground thaws and before the it freezes.
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  4. 4
    You may also apply a light topping of ammonium sulfate (20-0-0) at the rate of pound per 1,000 square feet of garden area.
    Rototill or spade all these materials into the soil, mixing well to a depth of eight to twelve inches.
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  5. 5
    You will want to leave one portion of the garden intact.
    The area where you have planted root crops may be mulched rather than dug up and worked. To lengthen the digging season by months or weeks, put a straw mulch over rot crops like beets, carrots, Jerusalem artichokes, and parsnips. Parsnips becomes sweeter after the ground cools. Jerusalem artichokes do not store well after they have been dug, so the best storage way is to leave them in the ground until you are ready to consume them.
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  6. 6
    After light frost nips the vines, harvest the pumpkins and winter squash.
    Perform this before a devastating frost destroys the fruits. Cut the vines leaving three to four inches of stem on the fruit.
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Annual Flowers

  1. 1
    Remove spent foliage and vines of annual flowers and dig them or compost them into the garden.
    If the plants are ill, discard them into trash.
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Weeds

  1. 1
    It does not matter where the weeds are located, either be it at the flower beds, vegetable garden, or at the lawn.
    This is the best time to avoid them. Weeds that are distributed by seeds creates thousands of seeds. Lambsquarter may bear up to 72,500 seeds per plant, purslane 52,000, curly dock may bear up to 30,000, and redroot pigweed 117,000. Even if 50 percent of the pigweed seedlings germinate next spring, you have 58,000 pigweed plants to remove or avoid.
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  2. 2
    Better to remove them this fall, or if the weeds are in the lawn, spot-spray a herbicide on the still-green perennial weeds.
    Perennial weeds like thistle, dandelion, and bindweed are easier to be killed by fall sprays rather than summer applications.
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Shrubs and Trees

  1. 1
    Falling temperature and shorter days are prompting shrubs and deciduous trees to prepare for winter dormancy and drop leaves.
    Limit the use of fertilization in fall since nitrogen delays dormancy and stimulates useless late-season growth.
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  2. 2
    Continue to water shrubs and trees throughout the fall, giving them enough moisture on winter.
    It may also be essential to water every 3 to 4 weeks throughout the winter. Dry soil puts stress on shrubs and trees and kills roots. Water them if the soil is not frozen and temperature is above freezing point. Sprinkle water early in the morning so that plants have enough time to moisture before the soil freezes at night.
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  3. 3
    On the first of November, wrap the trunks of deciduous trees with crepe-paper tree wrap.
    Start at the base of the tree and wrap upward, overlapping a third of paper with every turn. Stop when you wrapped the first set of branches. Secure the top turn of wrap using a piece of stretch tape. Wrapping shrubs and trees prevents sunscald injury, this develops when the warm winter sun is absorbed in the bark of the plant. Remove wrap on next April.
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Raspberries

  1. 1
    Cut canes of fall-bearing raspberries at about ground level.
    Water the location during extended winter. At the following season, canes will regrow and bear fruit in August and September. Cut only thick, older canes of summer-bearing types so that you can harvest next year.
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Perennials

  1. 1
    After temperature of freezing and plants die, cut the stems up to an inch or 2 of the ground.
    Discard the cuttings, since they may harbor disease that may survive the winter and return to the plant on spring time. Other plants like iris and oriental poppies creates a cluster of green leaves in the fall. Leave these intact. Remove only the brown, older stems that if left from the flower.
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  2. 2
    As the weather becomes colder, mulch the soil around the plants.
    This is usually done in mid to late November. Mulch makes roots cold. It does not protect them from the cold. A plant may be hardy to more northerly latitudes where winter temperatures are intense but can be injured, where temperature in winter fluctuate. The alternate thawing and freezing of exposed soil may damage roots and heave them out of the ground.
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  3. 3
    Suggested mulching materials may include evergreen boughs, straw or hay, peat moss, pine needles and cornstalks.
    These mulches are lightweight and do not pack or suffocate the roots. Put to a depth of four to six inches. Few plants like bearded iris and peonies, do not require winter mulching, in fact, they perform better without it. Mulching may cause their fleshy, thick roots to decay. As to other perennials, they need watering during dry winter conditions.
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Tips

  • Areas which experience phenomenons such as cold winter. Perennials should not be fertilized in midsummer, and doing this encourages them to slow down their growth progress and make them slightly immune to cold weather for the winter.
  • Areas which experience phenomenons such as warm winter. Fall would be a perfect time to invest and plant perennials. Bear in mind that in winter, you should double check for any sign of sickness or altered states, mostly during wet periods, and rotting might be present.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel(s)
  • Pruner(s)
  • Mulch or row cover
  • Organic fertilizer (compost)
  • If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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Article Info

Categories : Gardening

Recent edits by: Anonymous, Lynn, Robbi

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