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20 winter gardening don’ts

20 winter gardening don’ts

Before the last autumn leaf fades, it’s a good idea to put your garden to bed, as the saying goes. Whether winter brings you just a few snowflakes or epic snowdrifts, you can take steps to ensure that the coldest season takes only the smallest toll on your landscape. Then, as the first deep freezes and chilly snowflakes arrive, your garden and gear will be safely tucked in for a long winter’s nap. Learn about simple mistakes you want to avoid as you wrap up your garden for winter. Mistake No. 1: Planting Too Late. Making late additions to the landscape can result in devastating losses next spring, especially in areas where the ground freezes. Perennials are the most susceptible to late planting, as alternating freezing and thawing of soil literally shoves plants out of soil, exposing crowns. Shrubs and trees can go into the ground later, but for best winter survival rates, you should have all plants in place by six weeks before soil typically freezes. Mistake No. 2: Pruning Shrubs. Pruning causes plants to produce new growth, which is tender and highly vulnerable to freezing temperatures. Wait to prune shrubs, including butterfly bush and caryopteris, until spring when all danger of frost has passed. At that point you can remove any winter-killed branches. In future years, aim to get pruning done by late August so plants have time to harden off before freezes arrive. Original Article

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