You’re not done gardening yet this year – there are still a few things to do before the frosts come. Two of the more important ones are prepping your garden bed and bringing plants indoors for winter.
The next week or two will likely bring the first freezing temperatures of the year to Central Ohio. Have you prepared for the frost? Here are some must-do’s before October is over that’ll help your garden in the spring and save some of your valuable indoor/outdoor plants.
Remove any dead or dying plants and leaves, harvest any remaining tomatoes and look for damage to borders or permanent trellises that would be easier to repair now than after months of snow have sat on them.
Do NOT compost diseased or buggy plant materials! It’s important to remove insects and disease from your garden so they don’t overwinter and come back next year in the soil.
Vegetables are really heavy feeders and can deplete the soil. Start prepping it for next spring by adding compost. We especially like Bumper Crop, Posy Power and MooNure.
Once your garden is cleared, turned and composted, kill any weeds you might have before winter with a non-selective weed killer (we have organic options available). Come spring, you’ll be glad you did!
In mid to late October, it’s also time to bring plants indoors. Tropical plants or house plants that spent the summer covered on the porch should be inside before November. Before you bring any outdoor plants inside, combine systemic granules that go down in the soil with an insecticidal soap spray while you wait for the granules to work. We love Bonide® Systemic Houseplant Insect Control, but give it a few weeks to work before making the move.
Cut back any crazy growth that won’t fit in the house, and don’t be afraid to be aggressive with flowering tropicals, but be judicial with non-flowering plants that have merely spent the summer outside. They’re about to go dormant, so it’s a good time to do some trimming. Knock off dead or dying leaves and even a good rinse with the hose if it looks like they need it.
Depending on the plant, let them see a few mornings in the low 40s and even a few frosts before bringing them into the warmth. This will help trigger their winter sleep. And remember, once they’re inside they’re falling asleep. They still need water, just less in the winter months. You may need to adjust your routine so you don’t over-water them, but also don’t forget them completely.
Strader’s has the fertilizers, pesticides and garden tools you need to prep your garden for winter. You’re also more than welcome to ask additional questions of our knowledgeable staff about preparations for the cold and snow. Hope to see you soon!