We need to prepare for Minnesota’s winter starting now to ensure your new landscape will provide a magical spring awakening.  To many, it seems like a daunting task to get out in the yard and put the beds to sleep for winter.  Others are just confused at what to do when it comes to pruning, cutting back or adding protection.  It really isn’t that complicated.  For the most part, you really can’t hurt anything because new plants are either not needing attention (yet) or they just want a little attention to ensure they won’t be nipped by the harsh cold or winds thrown at them in January.

If you follow the list below (or check out this great link for more information on the Beds & Borders Website) you will be able to have a blueprint of many of the most important tasks one should follow when getting out to tend garden in October/November.  On that amazing fall day after a run of cold weather get out and enjoy the sights and smell of the autumn garden.  It is an amazing place to settle your nerves after an amazing Viking’s nailbiter (win of course).

It is really important to get the leaves out of the beds before you do this work.  This is important so you don’t step on the new plants.  It also is a good habit to remove the leaves so they are not left in the beds over the winter.  This will only create rot, mold, and habitat for rabbits and mice to thrive in the below-snow-world they are living in.  Nothing is more infuriating than a yard waking from a long slumber only to reveal that the new plants were thrashed by the gnawing teeth of rodents.

Do these simple tasks and your yard will thank for you it:

  • Get the leaves out of your beds
  • Water one last time right before the weather turns super cold
  • Cut back hosta, daylily and perennials to about 4″ from the ground
  • Prune only if you know how.  Please call us as this can be one of the chores done wrong
  • Cover your evergreens with burlap and twine around thansgiving
  • Get leaves out of evergreens and shrubs….you will need to reach in there….a blower will not get them out
  • Wrap new trees with a bark protector….this will prevent chewing teeth and deer scrapes…and sun scald

  • For those very worried about a stiff wind and harsh sun drying out your evergreens use Wilt Pruf

  • Pile mulch around the base of sensitive plants like Japanese Maples, Lavender and Roses for protection
  • Toss some snow on plants in early fall if the opportunity presents itself….this acts as a blanket
  • Do not salt around new plants.  Just don’t use salt if you don’t have to.  It’s not good for plants, pavers and the Earth
  • Place all annuals and garden refuse into your organic waster containter.  Better yet, create an organic compost area in your yard for plant material and kitchen scraps.  Bonus idea:  Coffee grounds should always be put around plants…just toss it out there.  Great nutrients!

Get in tune with you yard as it is a magical and underutilized place.  You will find great peace protecting your investment.