Art Knapp Articles
Preparing Your Garden for the Long Vancouver Winterin Tips and Tutorials
Winters in Vancouver can be tough on your garden. Declining daylight and chilly daytime temperatures can quickly bring plant growth to a halt, but the often milder days through autumn give us opportunity to make sure our gardens do not completely die off during the cold months.
Outdoor Chores to Get Done Before Winter
Make sure to get these outdoor chores done before winter hits, to avoid any unpleasant surprises come Spring:
- Run your garden hose over a railing to remove all water, then roll it up and store it away indoors.
- Mow your lawn as late into the fall as the grass is still growing. Long grass left over the winter is likely to develop brown patches.
- Rake fallen leaves off of the lawn and into your compost pile, or mulch the leave with your lawnmower and use the mulch for flower beds.
- Empty all outdoor containers to keep them from cracking in the cold weather. Store them upside down.
- Drain the fuel tank in all of your power equipment such as the lawn mower for storage over the winter.
- Scrub down and store all garden tools indoors. Apply vegetable oil to avoid rust.
Preparing a Vegetable Garden for Winter
If you are preparing your vegetable garden for winter, follow these tips:
- Before the ground gets hard, remove all weeks and debris from the vegetable garden.
- Gently till the soil to expose insects who may be planning to winter in your garden, this will help to avoid pest problems in the early Spring.
- Add a layer of compost to the soil and gently till into the soil.
- Pull out tomato, squash, pea, and bean plants. They can be composted if they are disease-free.
- Put away any stakes that were left in the garden to mark plants.
Preparing a Flower Garden for Winter
When preparing your flower garden for wintering, follow these tips:
- Water your flowering plants throughout the fall – this will help them get through the long winter.
- Before the ground freezes, pull out any weeds and remove debris from the garden.
- Once the ground is frozen, cut perennials back 3 inches and mulch them with a thick layer of leaves or straw.
- Move potted plants to an undercover area, water well, and cover with a thick layer or straw.
Vancouver winters can be tough on gardens, but with these tips you can prepare ahead for your vegetable and flower gardens to make it through the winter and make for an easier transition into next Spring!