Winter preparation for your yard doesn’t take much time. However, it is crucial to protecting your landscape and your home from the damage winter weather can do. Winter is an
important time to maintain your garden’s health. You want to keep your perennials healthy, your tools sharp, and your water pipes dry and warm.
You should winterize your yard and garden when nighttime temperatures drop to less than 45° F for more than four days in a row. Another sign is when frost is in the forecast for Lancaster County (usually around late October or November).
We’ve put together this winter preparation checklist for homeowners in Lancaster County.
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Evaluate Plants for Next Year
Talk a walk through your landscaping. Check which plants grew well this year and which plants either died or needed a lot of work. Now is a good time to decide which plants you’ll keep and which ones you want to replace with native or low maintenance plants for Pennsylvania.
Clean Up the Garden
Cleaning up your flower beds and garden are important steps in winter preparation. Weeds and rotten leaves can carry insects and diseases that might
be harmful to your garden.
- Pull weeds.
- Rake remaining leaves into compost pile.
- Pull out annuals and throw into compost pile.
Protect Your Trees
If you have younger trees you should consider wrapping them and supporting them with stakes to help them survive the winter wind and cold.
Protect Your Beds
Spreading mulch over your garden or flower beds is a helpful way to protect plants from sudden temperature changes and heavy snow during the winter.
Use several inches of shredded bark, pine needles, fallen leaves or other organic matter. Be careful not to mulch too early, because invasive insects may still be alive to take shelter in it for the winter.
Winterize Your Tools
Once you’re finished with your gardening tools, you should winterize them properly. Read our blog post about how to prepare your tools for winter.
We also have a lot of information about how to winterize your lawn mower in a different blog post.
Harvest and Dry Herbs
Now is the time to reap the benefits of your herb gardening efforts. Your herbs will need to be properly prepared before you cook with them.
- Cut the tops.
- Wash herbs.
- Tie bunches and hang or put in a paper bag to dry.
- When dry, crumble the herbs and place in a small, glass jar. If your herbs aren’t drying fast enough, you can dry them in the oven.
Winterize Your Fish Pond
If you have a fish pond, it should be deep enough for its residents to stay over the winter. Here are other tips for protecting your fish pond during cold weather.
Use a floating de-icer to prevent the water inside the pond from freezing.
Or cover the fish pond with a thick tarp or plywood, and a layer of straw, that can provide proper insulation.
Make sure your pipes don’t freeze and burst over the winter.
- Completely turn off all outside taps.
- From inside the house, turn off the water that feeds outside taps.
Now your winter preparation for your yard and garden is complete. Be sure to sign up for our email newsletter to get tips and advice year-round. Plus, you’ll get our free spring chores checklist.