8 Tips for Pretty Perennials
- Make sure any diseased, dead, or dying plants are removed prior to your winterizing project.
- Do not fertilize your perennials after mid-summer. You want them to slow down their new growth and give them time to harden off for winter.
- Gradually cut the amount of water you give your flowers in half. They need time to adjust from summer sun to the challenge of surviving harsher weather. Reducing the amount of water in the soil helps them get ready for winter.
- After the first frost (which usually kills most foliage in the garden) is the time to dig up your less hardy perennials and help them winter over in a cool, dark, dry place.
- The perennials you don’t dig up need to be trimmed back to just about 6″ above the ground.
- Whether you use your own compost or purchase some from the local garden center, now is a good time to work a few inches of it into the soil around your plants. This is a gentle ‘last meal’ that will keep them fed through the winter.
- We’ve mulched our flower beds with a variety of mulches. Straw provides a great cover and seems to keep the soil warm, no matter what mother Nature does. Bark mulches have worked well too. Believe it or not, light and fluffy snow (when there is plenty of it) is a fabulous insulator and can be piled high around your perennial shrubs as well.
- We stop watering after the first frost (and the trimming). They safely nestle in their ‘beds’, awaiting the weather that says, “Ah, Spring! It’s time to grow!”