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What is the best way to go about garden cleanup?

What is the best way to go about garden cleanup?
What is essential for my winter garden care?
What is a winter garden cleanup?

As Thanksgiving approaches, your spring garden might be the last thing on your mind.

Yet, in the north, there's plenty to do this month for your garden. In the south, your garden hasn't finished growing just yet with the cooler weather.

Fall vegetable gardening is in full swing in southern states. But eventually, in both regions, you'll need to get out in the yard to prepare for spring before nature closes shop for winter. Protecting plants, storing garden tools, and getting your garden neat for spring should be priority No. 1.

Here's your comprehensive list for the ultimate garden care this winter. As we assess garden failures and successes this year, you'll see the base for your spring garden emerge in winter. Start a garden journal with your observations and reference it when the sun gets a bit warmer in a few short months.

Why is winter garden maintenance important?
What you do this winter will show dividends in the growing season. Now is the time to consider aerating your soil so that water can reach your lawn's roots. Winter soil can become compacted, hindering its ability to let water permeate to feed your lawn. Plant bare-root plants such as raspberry canes, fruit trees, and hedging now.

Your winter checklist for the garden
1. Gather leaves and compost
Those pesky fallen leaves - which seem to multiply - can become a protective mulch for your garden. You can also collect soil-enhancing leaf mold or rich compost in the composter.

Pro tip: In warmer weather, there isn't much brown material for your composter. Stash some in bags in a cool, dry location. You'll have plenty of rich, brown material for the spring.

2. Remove diseased plants, leaves, and weeds You must get down and hand-pick some of these unwanted occupiers, plus establish barriers, or trim trouble spots off your plants. Be mindful of the importance of healthy soil, not only for your plants but also for the creatures who call your garden home.

Pro tip: Determine which types of weeds you are looking to eliminate and then head to Agri Supply to find a herbicide to best suit your needs.

3. Plant bulbs Refer to package instructions for depth, but in most cases, you'll want to plant them as many as three times as deep as the bulb's height. If you go too deep, your bulbs might bloom late - or not at all. Aim for planting at least six weeks before the anticipated ground-freezing frost.

4. Bring potted plants indoors Although most tropical plants can tolerate a chill of 40 degrees, some suffer on sub-50-degree nights. Check for insects or signs of disease, and treat while the plant is still outside.

Pro tip: Keep in mind that some plants can't survive inside without light and humidity. Do a little research to learn the best care for them.

5. Check for pest infestations and treat appropriately It's how you navigate with these leaf-destroying threats that counts. To avoid diseased plants from spreading their affliction, prune away dead branches and shoots. Clear your garden of weeds, which can rob nutrients from the plants you want to keep. Avoid synthetic pesticides to keep your garden productive and healthy.

6. Clean and replace tools Use a solution of two cups of chlorine bleach and one gallon of water. Soak dirty tools for 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and dry before you store.

Pro tip: If you've had plenty of service out of a tool, and it's not getting the job done as it once did, treat yourself and your garden to quality replacements, from Agri Supply.

7. Check garden for nutrient deficiencies You might have already seen signs in your pants of soil deficiencies. Cold, heat, pests, salinity, water stress, and wind could cause nutrient problems in your plants, too. To balance out pH levels in your soil, you'll need to determine what's deficient in the soil to save your plants. Test your soil with a soil sampler tube, available at Agri Supply.

8. Put up bird feeders and stock up on birdseed It's best to feed birds when they need the boost, as in extreme temperatures, migration time, and in late winter when it's tough for them to find seed on their own.

Pro tip: Remember the birds' safety when choosing a spot for your feeder. Place them 12 feet from a bush, brush pile, evergreen tree. That's enough room to flee for cover from a predator.

9. Make plans for spring It's never too early to dream about springtime gardens. Make your plan now, to determine what to plant first, when to buy seeds and other provisions, so when the ground thaws, you're ready.

Pro tip: Use a calendar to plan when to start seeds inside and other gardening dates. Keep it with your garden journal, and add photos of how things looked and sketches for next year.

Get started today on your winter garden prep At Agri Supply, you'll find the lawn and garden goods you need to get started on your checklist. Compare now and save!


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