Crisp air, burnt orange leaves, pumpkin spice lattes - we are in the thick of autumn, which puts winter right around the corner. That means it's time to put finish up your fall planting and start preparing your garden for the colder days ahead.
While it might sound like a daunting task, Sarah Gray Miller, editor-in-chief of Modern Farmer magazine, and Today broke down four important (and easy!) ways to get your garden ready for the change in season.
Mulching around plants keeps in heat and will restore nutrients as temperatures drops. The University of Vermont says the best time to mulch is after the ground starts to freeze, but before the first big snowfall of the season. Three to four inches of mulch will be sufficient to keep plants healthy, though if you live in a colder or windier area, you may want to consider putting down a thicker layer.
When the warmer weather rolls around and you're finally getting back in your garden, it can be hard to remember exactly what you planted and where. By adding durable markers - copper or stainless steel options will endure harsh winter conditions - you'll easily be able to identify your plants and avoid confusion come spring.
Getty ImagesJamie Grill
3. Drain Water
As temperatures drop, water becomes ice. So if you don't drain your garden hoses, clean out your lawnmower, or empty your gardening cans, they'll freeze right up, which could cause a lot of damage when you go to use them next.
4. Bring Plants Inside
Miller admits that not all plants are meant to live inside, nor do you have space for your entire garden to come indoors. She recommends bringing in tomato plants and any herbs you may be growing, such as rosemary, sage and mint. If you time the move according to dropping temperatures and keep them in a sunny spot, they'll do just fine until you can get them back outdoors in springtime.