7 works in the flower garden that need to be done before frost
Fall. Nature withers and gradually prepares for wintering, giving us time to complete all important matters before the closing of the summer season. Along with the "breadwinners" - fruit trees and berry bushes - ornamental plants also need care. Winter is an important time when the flowers rest and gain strength in order to decorate the garden for next year. Our task is to make their wintering most comfortable. So, what needs to be done in the flower garden before winter arrives? We offer our readers a list of the 7 most important, in our opinion, works that the flower garden expects of you in anticipation of frosts.
1. Clear-out on flower beds
First of all, you need to get rid of dried branches and fallen leaves, prune wilted flowers, clean the soil from weeds. Cleanliness is the key to health not only for people! The less debris left on the site, the easier it will be for seedlings to break out with the arrival of spring heat. In addition, “padanka” from trees and other decaying garbage can become a breeding ground for pests and fungal diseases. Do not forget that autumn labor will save you from additional spring hassle.
Do not be too lazy to loosen the soil around perennial shrubs and sprinkle between composted soil plants. The nutrient layer will become an additional top dressing in the spring and will warm the roots of plants with the onset of cold weather. It is especially important to mulch the foot of decorative perennials planted in autumn.
Do not use fresh manure for fertilizing, it is better to let it stand until spring. It is much safer to add a pinch of potassium-phosphorus mixture to the compost soil. These microelements have a beneficial effect on the root system and contribute to the laying of peduncles.
2. Planting wintering bulbs
Until the end of October, it is advisable to complete the planting of bulbous wintering in the ground. These are not only beloved daffodils, tulips, crocuses, hyacinths and other primroses that notify us of the onset of spring, but also lilies.
It is important to prepare for this crucial procedure in advance. Choose a sunny day so that the soil is loose and dried out. Bulbs are most comfortable with “sleeping” on a pillow of sand and ash: the first component will create the necessary drainage and prevent excessive moisture; and the second will act as a top dressing. Bulbs take root at a temperature of 5-7 degrees, which guarantees their successful wintering, so it is important not to be late.
It is advisable to mulch fresh bulbous plantings for the winter in order to keep warm and create a cozy microclimate. Annual additional shelter is required by cold-sensitive oriental and tubular lilies, as well as varietal terry daffodils and tulips. Lutrasil will protect them from freezing: it, unlike the film, lets air through, while creating an air cushion and retaining heat.
3. Digging of heat-loving bulbs and tubers
Before the onset of stable cold, have time to determine the storage of tubers and bulbs of heat-loving plants. These are, first of all, gladioli and dahlias, as well as cannes, begonias, montbrecia and callas, varietal anemones and tigridia. Watch the weather forecast, because excessive rush here is useless! The longer these plants stay in the ground, the more powerful storage organs they will form.
After digging, prepare the site for spring planting: mix compost with superphosphate and potassium top dressing and dig it carefully.
If the soil is already moist, so as not to injure the tubers, it is better to leave them to dry directly with a lump of earth, spreading in a row on a newspaper in a cool and ventilated room. Before laying for storage, planting material must be carefully shaken off, and then placed in boxes and sprinkled with sand, vermiculite, and even better - charcoal. Experienced flower growers recommend treating the bottoms of bulbs and tubers with powder from needles, or add pine needles directly to the box - their aroma will scare away pests. The most comfortable temperature range for wintering such plants is 5-7 degrees.
4. Global cropping
It is necessary to prune all perennials wintering in the soil. Grassy peonies, phloxes, tradescantia, hosta, chrysanthemum, lichenis, oriental poppy, as well as daylily, are cut to a stump 2-4 cm high. For irises, oblique sections are made 10 cm above the ground. The exception is plants that form a basal rosette, such as primrose, bluebell, cloves, rudbeckia and daisies. This same outlet is left until spring, it fades gradually and serves as a natural shelter.
Ornamental shrubs require an individual approach. Sanitary pruning will be useful to everyone, it is to remove dried, weak and diseased shoots. But the forming haircut is permissible only for bushes blooming in the summer months. Among them are hydrangea, spirea, buddy, shrubby cinquefoil, tree-like peony and others.
Last of all, pruning of a shrub rose is carried out, which can bloom until the end of October, if the autumn turned out to be sunny and warm. Here, each grower has his own approach: someone leaves the old shoots, others prefer a haircut “to zero”. But the queen of the garden does not differ in high frost resistance, therefore, the less radical the pruning, the more warm should be the shelter of the bush for the winter.
5. Shelter of whimsical perennials
Curly ornamental plants are removed from the support (if possible), and laid on the ground, covered from above with a wooden box. If the loaches are firmly attached to the support, then you can try to insulate them without removing, wrapping the covering material in several layers. Such heat-loving inhabitants of the garden include climbing roses and clematis.
The latter needs pruning, depending on belonging to the varietal group, of which there are a lot of clematis. For example, the hybrids of Vititsella and Jacqueman are cut to 10-15 cm for the winter, only slightly warming with mulch. Varieties of the Florida and Patens groups are slightly shortened and carefully covered. But the varieties of "Vitalba" and "Princes" are very winter-hardy and do not need to be insulated.
Most herbaceous perennials are enough to sprinkle with a thin layer of compost to survive the winter safely. But under the excess mulch during the rainy season they can blame! This is especially true for phlox and peonies. With a layer of compost, it is important to warm the rhizomes of irises that have been exposed over the summer, and they also sprinkle the base of decorative shrubs. Additional shelter is needed by young, not yet fully grown plants planted this year, as well as varietal onion flowers.
Read more about how to properly cover plants for the winter, read in our material.
6. Restoring order on the lawn
Against the backdrop of a bright lawn, the flowers look more beautiful. To keep it that way, you have to work hard. Until mid-October, the last mowing should be done. After the haircut, “comb” the grass with a rake: collect all the cut grass and fallen leaves. If this is neglected, then under the layer of plant debris the lawn will melt during the winter.
But a layer of composted land mixed with fertilizer will be to your taste. To do this, mix the earth with sand or peat, adding a little nitrogen fertilizer, and evenly distribute this mixture on the surface of the lawn.
The voids formed during the summer are sown before winter, and the thickened areas are "combed out" with a rake. Another important procedure that cannot be ignored is the “pricking” of the lawn. Spend it with a pitchfork, or a special device - a roller with teeth. Piercing provides better ventilation and moisture to the roots.
7. Sowing annuals
Sowing annuals can not be put off until spring, but do it now. The best time is November, when the soil has not yet frozen, but has already cooled sufficiently. Such natural stratification eliminates the need to mess with seedlings in the spring.
Cornflower, aster, fragrant tobacco, poppies, marigolds, marigold and others are suitable for winter planting. Seeds are sown in prepared (seasoned with top dressing and dug up) soil and sprinkled on top with a layer of compost. Watering in this case is not required.
Here we have such a list of works that need to be done in the flower garden before winter. At first glance, the time-consuming process will certainly bear fruit! Be sure to record your observations, stages of work and draw conclusions to ease your worries for next year.
And in the comments, share your secrets of preparing a flower garden for winter. Perhaps we did not remember something?