There are a few garden tips for the winter months that should not be overlooked. These garden tips are not just for your garden, they also include your lawn and landscaping, garden tools, and your feathered friends. Some of the tips will all depend on where you live and the types of winters you have to endure. If you live in Southern Regions with very mild winters you may not need to bring plants indoors.

For your garden you want to bring indoors all the plants that are tender such as any tropical plants that you have in containers. You can re-pot them if need be and display them in a room that receives sufficient sunlight. You can take clippings from your annuals to start new plants to transplant next spring. Dig up any of the summer-or fall-blooming bulbs that need to be stored, now go ahead and plant some spring-flowering bulbs such as tulips. Be sure to plant them with the roots down even if they have started to sprout on the top. If you have a perennial border place roughly 2 to 4 inches of mulch around the plants for added protection. You can leave any ornamental grasses intact by not cutting them back; this will impel the birds to come for a visit.

Depending on your location, winterizing roses can be accomplished in different ways. But an excellent rule of thumb is to remove all the foliage that is around the base or on the rose plants; this will keep any foliage diseases from returning next season. You do want to prune any branches that have signs of infestation or decay and cut off any long stems. Be sure to throw away anything that is diseased; do not throw in your compost pile. A good idea is to spray your roses and the soil that encompasses them with a fungicide; this will protect them through the winter months and help keep any diseases from overwintering. A healthy layer of topsoil, mulch, or compost placed around the graft union will help protect against the cold. Your compost bin can be winterized with a tarp cover so the process of composting will continue through the winter season. Once in a while soak the compost pile with water, this helps keep it moist. You can also add straw or leaves to the side and top of pile for added insulation.

You can lengthen the harvesting of some of the cool season vegetables such as spinach and lettuce by surrounding them with a cold frame. Remove all the healthy vegetable garden waste and add it to your compost pile and throw away waste that is diseased. Turn the soil over by using a garden fork in order to expose any underground pests to the winter temperatures. If you can afford to do so, plant a cover crop because it helps reduce erosion of the soil, it captures nutrients, lowers the amount of weeds, and enhances the soil for next spring.

Fall is an excellent time to fertilize your lawn. Rake up all fallen leaves and place them in the compost pile; if you are fortunate to own a mulching lawn mower it will also work. There are a few steps you need to take to winterize a backyard pond that is made of a pre-formed liner of plastic or flexible vinyl. Cut back the aquatic plants, hardy or tender; bring the tender ones indoors and place in a shallow container that has only a few inches of water and put them near a window that gets plenty of sun. You want to remove the floater plants such as water hyacinth and water lettuce because they probably will not survive over the winter indoors or out. If your pond has fish and is no deeper than two feet, you will need to bring them indoors for the winter. Gather them up in plastic bags that you have filled with pond water. Place the entire bag into the aquarium and allow the water to become equal before removing the fish and placing into the tank. If your pond is deep enough you can leave the fish outside during the winter, but you will need to stop feeding them because their metabolism slows down. Be sure to remove all debris from the pond water.

Your garden tools are next in line if you want to keep them for a long period of time. You want to wash off any dried and hardened dirt from any shovels and hoes. Rub on a little linseed oil to all wooden handles to help prevent them drying out and cracking. Sharpen the blades on the hedge trimmers, shovels, and pruners. It is a good idea to drain all garden hoses and place in garage or garden shed for the winter. If water is left inside the hoses it will freeze and expand; this causes the lining of the hoses to rupture and leak. Repair or replace any leaky hoses and replace damaged or old fittings and washers. Last but not least completely rinse out any pesticide sprayers and grass or fertilizer seed spreaders and allow them to dry thoroughly before storing.

Now you can devise a winter retreat for those feathered friends. You want to provide shelter, food and water as part of their essentials. Keep your bird feeders filled all through the winter season. If you’re going on vacation during the holidays, do not want to spend a lot of money on birdseed or have the time to fill the feeders you can grow shrubs and trees that bear fruit that will be naturally tasty to the birds. If you have any ceramic birdbaths you want to drain and clean them before you bring them indoors. All other birdbaths need to be cleaned and then keep them filled with water. You want to provide some shelter for the bird with birdhouses. You can even place nest-making materials, such as dried grass, twigs, hair and yarn around the backyard for them to collect. Hopefully I was able to give you some help with these winter garden tips.