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Cold weather gardening checklist:
Get ahead of cold weather before it hurts your garden with this cold weather gardening checklist. Then quickly tick off these top 10 pre-freeze gardening tasks before weather causes problems for your garden and your home.
If you can get to these before you start hearing that a cold snap is coming. But, if your weather alerts are sounding the Freeze! alarms, this checklist will help you make short order of protecting your garden before the cold gets the best of your outdoor spaces:
- Detach hoses and splitters from outdoor hose bibs: These lines can freeze up and burst your hoses and your pipes if you don’t remove them.
- Blow out irrigation: If you have irrigation lines and you haven’t had them cleared, get it done now. Burst irrigation lines are no fun to try to locate and/or repair.
- Protect pots: If your pots aren’t freeze proof, move them somewhere warm. Or they may seize up and break in a freeze.
- Mulch: Yep, its not too late to get mulch down in the garden to protect roots. Even a layer of freshly fallen leaves can help — chopped or not.
- Water: I know it may sound strange, but watering can protect plant roots from freezes. This is especially true for those potted plants that may not be rooted into your saturated garden earth.
- Protect delicate plants: If you push the boundaries on plants that may be semi-hardy in your area. And if you want to coddle them through a cold snap, now’s the time.
- Find your snow shovel: Does your snow shovel end up in the back of the shed in summer? Then dig it out now. And stash by your main doorway. This will make shoveling that first snowfall much easier.
- Fill bird feeders: Food may be hard for wild birds (and your free ranging hens) to find under a layer of thick snow. So scrub any dirty feeders. Then keep them full of fresh and plentiful food for winter.
- Harvest your last crops: Carrots and parnsips often taste better after a cold snap, but they can be hard to locate and dig in frozen soil. And if they’re buried under snow, they may be impossible to locate. Gather tender greens like lettuce and chard well before the cold freezes them. But your kale may do fine all the way through winter even if it does freeze for a bit. And like those carrots and parsnips, kale can be even tastier after it gets a frosty kiss.
- Take breakable artwork indoors: Glass bird baths and floats may break when the water in them (or the water they’re in) freezes. And the same may happen to ceramics as well. So if in doubt, bring in your artwork early!
Need more help beyond this top 10 task list?
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How did you reserve the sunflower heads? Paper bag, in the freezer???
Actually, I just leave the heads on upper shelves in the greenhouse where they are unlikely to get wet. So long as they stay dry, they don’t rot. Since I only hold them for a few months & then feed them to the birds in winter, this works well. Simple!