How to Winterize Your Garden

For all the hours we devote to our garden during the warm seasons, we should show the same TLC in preparing our plant beds for the winter. Arming your lawn and garden for the cold will help keep your soil protected, and enable you to get a head start on spring.

Below are some useful tips to help you winterize your garden:

Remove Dead Plants and Vines

Insects that live and feed on plants in the garden all summer long will be looking for a place to nest come late fall. Leftover vines and plants are ideal for these critters to lay eggs, and these will survive through the winter and then hatch in time for spring. To avoid being welcomed to the new season by a brigade of pesky bugs, do away with lingering plants and vines before winter. Troy-Bilt's Professional Bypass Pruner makes cutting through those tough, unwanted vines a breeze.


Mow your lawn into the fall as long as the grass grows. If grass is left long when it snows, it will leave brown patches in your yard come spring. To prevent this from happening, keep your lawn short in the fall by lowering the height of your mower blade to about 2 inches. Also, be sure to rake up all fallen leaves before mowing and add them to your compost pile.

Cover Crops

You can also use cover crops as a blanket to winterize your garden and protect your soil from the harsh elements of winter. Depending on your region, you will want to choose a cover crop that meets the needs of your garden. Not only will cover cropping help protect during winter, but as they grow, they will rejuvenate the soil for spring. As spring arrives, use Troy-Bilt's Colt' FT Garden Tiller to till the cover crops to prepare the soil for the season.


Apply mulch around your garden, particularly surrounding shrubs and perennials. Mulch can act as insulation when the weather drops to low temperatures, helping to protect the plants from freezing and also prevent drying.


As weeds continue to grow in your garden through fall, be sure to remove them before the first frost. Leaving weeds in your garden will only lead to more unwanted plants and set you back in the spring. Troy-Bilt's Weeding Blade allows you to rid your lawn of weeds with ease. Clear them out now to avoid a mess in a few months.

Store Tools

Preparing your garden for winter also means making sure your gardening tools and equipment are cleaned and stored in a safe, dry place through the winter so they are ready for use next spring. If you plant in pots or containers, be sure to empty all contents and store upside down to prevent them from cracking. Before storing your garden hose, drape it up over a railing and allow all excess water to drain.


The Dirt from Troy-Bilt

September/October 2014