As colder temperatures approach, it is time to begin thinking about winterizing your flower beds. The process of winterizing flower beds refers to making preparations to help flower beds best endure the colder temperatures and possible extreme weather that winter often brings. The major decision that must be made when deciding how to proceed with winterizing flower beds is whether winter growth is desired. Many gardeners choose to allow flower beds to lie fallow during the dormant winter season. This helps to rejuvenate and rest the underlying soil and gives the gardener a break from the constant maintenance an active garden requires. Review these important steps to take when preparing to winterize your flower bed.
First, clean the flower bed by removing debris, dead foliage, stakes, row markers, and seed heads on perennial plants. Make your flower bed as a clean as possible before winterizing. Next, dig up any dormant bulbs and properly clean and store them for replanting in the spring. Rake out and remove spent compost, mulch, fallen leaves, and other materials used during the previous growing season. Next, pull out all the weeds that are growing in the flower beds.
Now it is time to add back a new layer of nurturing and protective mulch for plants that will remain in the flower beds throughout the winter season. This is also a good time to assess the likelihood of extreme winds and weather, which can greatly damage or destroy evergreens and outdoor plants. Installing a screen can be simple - just place a few stakes in the ground on the side that gets the extreme weather, and wrap the stakes with burlap. Do not use plastic or place protective materials directly on the plants.