Plant Life

Orange and red marigolds covered in white frost on a cold morning, showcasing how to prep your garde...

How To Prep Your Garden For Winter

Get your plants ready for sweater weather.

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These tips and tricks for flowers and vegetables will help you winterize your garden. Learn when to weed, what to plant, and how to fertilize to get your winter garden in the best possible shape.


Clear out diseased plants to get your garden in the best shape for winter. You can leave healthy growth in place alongside spent crops, according to Eartheasy, but any plants with signs of disease like abnormal coloring or spots need to go.

Get weeds under control early in the season to prepare your garden for winter. Apply a weed killer when you spot them to prevent sprouting seeds to spread to your other plants.Shutterstock


To winterize your soil, add several inches of compost to your garden before the first freeze. Cover that with a light layer of mulch or straw to best prepare your garden for winter, The Old Farmer’s Almanac suggests.

Pull summer annuals from your flower beds and plant hearty winter annuals that will withstand the cold. Add some color to your garden this winter with pansies, snapdragons, and violas, suggests HGTV.Shutterstock


Early winter is the ideal time to plant garlic. They’ll root fast and grow in by the summer. The winter weather helps maintain soil nutrients needed for garlic to grow, but mulching through the season can help it thrive, according to GrowVeg.

Harvest tender vegetables that won’t tolerate frost to prep your garden for winter. Harvest tomatoes, peas, pumpkins, beans, winter squash, and zucchini prior to the first frost of winter, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac.Petr Nutil / 500px/500Px Plus/Getty Images


Cover semi-hardy vegetables like cabbages, greens, and root crops like carrots and potatoes. Use a cold frame or floating row cover to protect garden crops from a freeze, The Old Farmer’s Almanac suggests.

Disconnect your irrigation system to prevent freeze damage this winter and water your plants by hand instead. Let all of the water out of the system to prevent hoses and pipes from bursting. Shutterstock
If you live in an area that will see frozen soil this winter, sow seed starters indoors, suggests HGTV. Use a closed, but ventilated container and use seeds whose packaging notes they’re self-growing or reseeding to jumpstart spring and summer plants.Shutterstock


Bring fragile plants indoors for winter. Place plants with tender bulbs like dahlias and ones that keep growing in the winter like hibiscus in a sunny spot near a window, recommends The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

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