Ask Elaine: Preparing the Garden for Winter

Are there any more garden tasks that I need to do to get the garden “ready for bed” this winter?

Thank you,

Dear Lily,

When late fall turns into winter, there are some house and garden chores to still consider for fun and safety:

  • If you are thinking of purchasing and planting a “live” Christmas tree this year, dig the hole outside before the ground freezes and cover the excavated soil so that it doesn’t freeze. Place the tree’s rootball in a tub or bucket big enough to hold it, and store the tree out of wind and sun for at least two days before bringing it into the house. Mist down the needles and water the rootball just enough to get it damp, not wet. Inside, keep the tree away from the heat sources. Limit the hours that electric lights are on. Live trees should be inside no more than one week. Take the tree outside to a protected area for two or three days and mist the needles. Plant in the prepared hole, removing the wire basket, the burlap and all the twine. Fill the hole with the reserved soil. Water thoroughly, and apply two inches of mulch.
  • Keep firewood outside until just before burning in case there are insects in the logs. You don’t want them to emerge in your house.
  • Apply deer repellant.
  • Feed the birds. If you go on a vacation, have the housesitter continue the job.

Happy Thanksgiving!

—Elaine Fogerty
Executive Director

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