Help plants survive until spring

Staff writer

With cooler weather, quickly approaching there are many things people need to do to maintain healthy lawns and plants for spring.

Jana Dalke owner of Serenity Gardens said the key to having a good garden or lawn come spring is proper winterization techniques.

“People should winterize everything to replenish the nitrogen back into the soil and give plants a kick start for spring,” she said. “Shrubs, trees, lawns — they’ll thank you later.”

She said the best thing to do for gardens is to remove old plants and work some organic matter into the soil.

“By removing the old plants, you remove any insects that might be wintering with them or diseases that have affected your garden during the summer and fall,” she said.

Working compost and manure into garden soil is the best way to prep the soil for spring Dalke said.

It’s up to individual home owners whether they want to trim the dead foliage off trees and shrubs when they go dormant. Dalke said she leaves the dead matter because it protects the plants from brutal winter weather.

“I don’t trim my plants unless I’ve had some kind of fungal outbreak or insect infestation,” she said. “This prevents both from coming back and becoming a problem come spring.”

Right now is the perfect time to plant new shrubs, trees, and the popular fall flowers including mums and pansies. The mellow fall weather gives plants the push they need to send their roots deep to survive winter. This helps them survive until spring.

“People will also want to plant any bulbs they want like daffodils and tulips,” she said. “That way they will be a pop of color come spring.”

Pansies and mums should also weather winter if planted in the ground and provide brilliant color in early spring.

“Mulch or anything is a good idea to protect your plants from harsh weather,” Dalke said. “If simple steps are taken everything should be green again in the spring.”

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