7 Steps to Prepare and Cover Plants for Frost

Fall is a great time to clean out your garden beds. You can either use this time to grow more fall vegetables and plants or prepare for next spring by winterizing your garden to make sure it is as snug as a bug in a rug.

1. Remove Diseased or Dead Plants and Foliage

You should remove any cuttings or plants that have obvious disease issues. Make sure not to throw these cuttings or plants into your compost, as you do not want to add diseases to the following year’s garden through your compost.

2. Store Tender Bulbs

For winter storage, keep tender bulbs in a dry and cool place, such as a cellar or pantry.

3. Prepare to Protect Your Plants From Sudden Cold Weather

Use row covers or freeze cloth, bring potted plants indoors or to the greenhouse, and consider a cold frame to extend the growing season. You can also use “hoop houses” to cover entire vegetable garden beds during cold weather. Arc flexible PVC pipe can also be used to protect the bed by attaching the ends to the ground and covering them with breathable freeze cloth.

4. Add Necessary Soil Amendments

Spring is already busy enough, so plan ahead by amending your garden’s soil now.

5. Water

Even though most plants go dormant in winter, they still need water, especially if your garden doesn’t get much snow or rain in the cooler months. Try to water your plants at least once a month in the mornings during the colder months.

6. Adding Mulch

There are many benefits to mulching in the fall and winter. You should use whatever is sustainable and readily available in your area to protect your plants and maintain healthy soil. To achieve the best results, cover your roots with a 3″ layer of mulch, but avoid stacking the mulch over or against the plant to prevent rotting.

7. Wrapping Tree Trunks

Wrap saplings or younger, more delicate tree trunks with burlap to protect them during the colder months.

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