Colder Weather is Here

We really knew it would happen – colder weather is here for a while

Most of us were hoping that the recent mild weather was here to stay until Spring, and some of us ( your writer included ) put off some winterizing tasks to enjoy the balmy days.  Now those chore must be done !!! 

  • Rake the leaves – overly large leaf piles are a great place for unwanted vermin to overwinter, and the leaves can smother your grass and other desirable plants. Thick layers of leaves can prevent needed moisture from reaching your plants, too.  Wet leaves can become a slipping hazard for pedestrians and vehicles.
  • Drain garden hoses and remove them from outside faucets. The last thing you want this winter is to have to call a plumber to repair a frozen water faucet!! Remove sprinklers and other water gadgets from the hose and drain them ( can’t tell you how many water timers, shut off valves and nozzles I have ruined by failing to do this ).  Use a warm, sunny day to roll up the hoses – keeps them out of the way of snow shovels and eliminates a tripping hazard.
  • Turn empty flower pots and saucers upside down if they MUST be left outside, so they don’t accumulate water which WILL freeze in them and break them.
  • Plant any Dutch flower bulbs ( tulips, daffodils, etc. ) and garlic bulbs before the soil freezes. Any bulbs not planted probably won’t be worth planting in the Spring,
  • Water your perennial plants occasionally until the soil freezes. Our dry early winter climate can be really hard on plants.
  • Provide adequate shelter for your pets if they must spend much time outside. They may have fur coats, but they still get cold if exposed to wind, moisture, or clear cold nights.  Cold stress makes them more liable to injury and disease. Pay extra attention to their foot pads – they are more subject to abrasion injuries if allowed to dry out.

Whew !! If you get all of those things done, go back inside and grab a favorite hot beverage, a new seed catalog, and daydream about balmy Spring days in your imaginary garden where weeds never grow and bugs never bite!