How to Put Your Perennials to Bed for the Winter
by Linda Hopper
We know the last warm days of fall, and the last beautiful blooms in the garden are coming to an end. It has been a good year for the garden, and we are thankful for all the blessings nature has provided.
Now it is time to think about getting your perennials ready for winter.
As soon as we have a heavy frost, you may begin:
Most Blooming Perennials
· Most blooming perennials can be cut back to about 6-8”. If there are any diseased leaves remove these from the garden. Mulch with leaves or commercial mulch. Water weekly until the ground freezes solid.
· Hostas can be trimmed back now or left until spring. If trimmed back, mulch with leaves or commercial mulch. Water weekly until the ground freezes solid.
· Grasses can be left untrimmed until spring. The foliage is pretty in the winter, and this allows for catching more snow which helps protect them from the cold. Water once a week until the ground freezes solid.
· The roots of vines should be mulched with leaves or commercial mulch. Water weekly until the ground freezes solid.
Low Growing Perennials
· Low growing perennials like ground covers can be covered with leaves. Water weekly until the ground freezes solid.
Bulbs: Dahlia and Canna
· Dig dahlia and canna bulbs. Dry them for a few days. (A garage floor works well.) Shake off as much dirt as possible and store in “potato” bags or a cardboard box in a cool dry place. Do not allow them to freeze.
Perennials in Pots
· If you have perennials in above ground pots they usually do not winter well. To try to protect them, move pots to a protected area out of winter sun. Dig 2 or 3 small deep areas several inches down and remove some of the dirt. This allows for expanding and contracting during periods of freezing and thawing. Water well.
Once your perennials have been put to rest for the winter – you do the same!
And dream about the wonderful blooms of spring.