Its that time of year where you need to winterize your home and garden for the long winter months. Warm weather can’t last forever so winterizing your home and garden is so important. Here in Ohio we can dip into the negatives for days on end and It’s best to be prepared than to scramble around trying to get things done when its zero degrees out.
1. Cut back your perennials after your first frost. Now before you head out with the machete not every perennial need to be cut back. Hostas are the main plants that I’m taking down after the freeze. I’m leaving all of my shrubs in tact until spring. Do your research to figure out which plants require cut backs and which you can leave for winter interest in the garden.
2. Mulch your garden beds. Mulching is Heavy duty work but to help insulate the plants leave a good 2-3 inches of mulch in your garden beds. Doing this will help them carry on through the winter months.
I have been making and using leaf mulch each year and it works just as well. You can mow your fallen leaves with a lawnmower then spread it out in your garden beds. You can even add it to your raised garden vegetable beds.
Leaf mulch breaks down over time and makes great compost for your garden beds.
3. Drain your hoses and irrigation systems. You don’t want water to freeze in them over winter. Also be sure to put all of your hoses away in a garage or shed for storage.
If you have fountains or water features its a good time to dry those out give them a good clean and cover for winter. This is one of the most important home and garden winterizing tasks to get completed. Nobody needs a pipe bursting over winter.
4. Clean your tools! It’s very important to clean and care for your tools throughout the season but if your like me and forget at least give them a good cleaning before you put them away for the winter.
It doesn’t hurt to clean the lawn mower too!
5. Clean your pots, seed starting trays and put them away.
This will give you a jump on the spring season.
6. Change out the filter for your heating system and clean your vents. If needed schedule a checkup for your system.
Nothing worse than your heating unit breaking down in the middle of winter.
7. Get your fireplaces inspected and cleaned before lighting. No need for any home fires.
8. Stock up on firewood. Weather you buy firewood or chop it yourself you will need a stockpile before temps drop low.
9. Cover or put away your garden furniture. Tables, chairs, benches and cushions should be put away. The winter can be hard on certain materials and you don’t want to risk damaging that new patio set.
10. Protect your house plants from cold drafty windows and dry heating. If you have chilly windows in the winter pull your plants back or cover your windows with plastic to keep out the cold and hold in the warmth. Make sure to add in extra humidity using pebble trays, misters or humidifiers.
11. Clean Your Gutters and downspouts. Last but not least clear out any debris from the gutters and make sure the downspouts are clean and clear of clutter.
I hope this list helps you get started preparing for winter!