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You may be ready for winter, but what about your yard and garden?

Winter garden blogI’m an avid gardener and love to have a beautiful yard, flower beds and flower pots.  I love trying new plants and color variations and my Pinterest boards are exploding with ideas to try.

But I will admit that most of my flower creations seem to look nicer in my head or online than they do in real life. Hey, I’m still learning!

I have even tried my hand at planting a garden and know now that seven tomato plants is entirely too many to maintain – at least for me! I’ve had enough tomatoes in the last few months to last me years – I don’t want to look at another tomato for a long, long time!

I have definitely learned that maintaining a nice yard and flower beds involves a lot of work, not just in the spring and summer months, but all year long.  So as we approach the winter months (insert sad face here), here are some tips I have found helpful to prep your yard for the long, cold months ahead:

  • Complete yard clean up – Rake leaves, clear out gutters and drains, sweep and clear patios, and empty planters.
  • Trim perennial flowers – Leave a one-inch stem to save the roots for next year; also rake leaves from flower beds, so they don’t rot and attract unwanted bugs.
  • Dig up summer-blooming bulbs – Some flowers cannot stand cold temperatures so they require inside storage over the winter months. Store bulbs in brown paper bags in a cool — but not freezing — place like a basement or a garage until planting time in early spring.
  • Get rid of dead plants – Dig up any dead annuals and most plants in your vegetable garden.
  • Prune perennial shrubs – This may require some research on your part.  Look up maintenance tips for the shrubs that you have planted in your yard. Many require pruning so they don’t become overgrown.
  • Mow the lawn until the first frost – Rake up clippings – this keeps roots from being smothered over winter.
  • Aerate your lawn – Aerating allows water and nutrients to get to the roots of the grass and help them grow. It is best to aerate your lawn in the early months of winter.
  • Fertilize your lawn – It’s best to do this before the first freeze to replace all of the nutrients that have been used throughout the warmer summer months.

This may seem like a lot of work, but it will definitely pay off when you’re taking in all those compliments from envious neighbors next summer and you’re getting requests from landscaping magazines to feature your yard….ok maybe that’s going a little too far but you never know!  What are your tips to keep your yard beautiful all year long?  Let us know in the comments below!

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