Last minute tips for winterizing your garden

A well-maintained garden can add curb appeal to your property and increase the value of your home. This is true of every season. “When frost is in the forecast, it’s time to get your garden ready for winter,” says Ralph Stephen, a broker with Royal LePage Atlantic in Saint John, New Brunswick. “Whether you need to apply a fresh layer of mulch, or new plants require some extra attention, winterizing will help maintain curb appeal throughout the winter and decrease your spring workload.” He recommends these three last minute garden preparations:

1. Once the ground has frozen, spread a six inch layer of winter mulch on your gardens. Mulching prevents soil erosion and protects any remaining plants from extreme changes in temperature. Spreading mulch too early may encourage rodents to nest in the soil.

2. Continue watering freshly planted shrubs and plants. While plants enter a state of hibernation in the winter, watering right up until the first frost is crucial for any new additions to your garden.

3. Consider leaving perennials you may otherwise cut back. Although some perennials may lose their aesthetic appeal over the winter, there are several varieties that maintain their beauty. Ornamental grasses, for example, provide texture in your garden during the winter months. Resist the urge to cut back all your perennials.

Remember, even a winter garden can create curb appeal. As Marjorie Harris, one of Canada’s leading writers on this topic says: “The garden, soon to be stripped of leaves, is a fantastic place this time of year.” More information on increasing curb appeal can be found online at www.royallepage.ca.

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