Baby, It’s Going To Be Cold Outside

Happy Friday, MARtians!

Tick tock, tick tock! I’ve been steadily working away at making sure next spring is as glorious as last spring here at Rosebrook Gardens. With the colder weather nipping at our heels, there are a few things I’m doing now, in advance of winter. Here is my basic pre-winter “to do” list, so let’s get moving.

Winterize sprinklers. If you have any type of irrigation system, now is the time to drain them, depressurize them and put them to bed. Frozen water in the lines can cause costly damage. Prepare in advance before the freezing temperatures and save yourself a headache down the line. Pun intended.

Bring in plants and prepare your gardens. Get pruning! It is one of the more satisfying outdoor chores, in my opinion. Cut away all those dead stems and blooms, and add mulch to protect plants. Bring bulbs inside, if they can’t survive the winter. I like to store my delicate bulbs in simple cardboard boxes, they provide airflow and protection at the same time.

Prep outdoor spigots. Drain and cut off waterline to outdoor spigots. (You might have even done this already – if so, good for you.) Keep the spigot open to let any last drops escape. Don’t forget to also drain garden hoses before coiling them and putting away as well.

Drain all oil from motorized lawn equipment. While we’re on the subject of draining; before storing tractors, mowers, blowers and the like, they should be cleaned and drained of oil. Make certain you locate an appropriate location to throw the oil out. It can’t be tossed in the trash or spilled onto the ground.

Rake. Get rid of the leaves. Raking is quite a chore, but it is worth it. We spend a lot of time and money on our lawns. Raking up leaves prevents grass from dying out due to lack of sunlight, oxygen, and water.

Get to the gutters. Gutters are meant to protect your home from the damage that rain can do. Clean gutters prevent water from backing up under the roof causing problems for the roof shingles and underlayment and it also protects against the dreaded ice dam.

Finish any fall plantings. Put ’em in the ground, people. If you have anything left to plant this fall, it needs to be planted now. The cold weather is fast approaching and will make planting impossible. Plus, the plants need time to adjust before the first hard freeze cycle.