Prepare that yard for winter

As if you don’t already have enough things to do — school has started, Thanksgiving is next month, Halloween costumes need to be made, and oh, Christmas isn’t far away either — one thing you don’t want to forget is your garden, which will thank you in the spring.

The good news is that there is still time to prepare your garden for winter, and on cold mornings, there’s nothing better than enjoying some fresh air.

Here are some tips for preparing your garden for the impending snow.

Garden beds

It’s time to put your garden beds to bed. For perennials, you’ll need to cut back and clean up all the dead plants, said Miguel Vieira, owner of Horse Lake Garden Center in 100 Mile. Some do it in the spring, others do it in the fall.

The key is to “wait until the plant dies. If it’s still green, you don’t want to cut (perennials) because that will shock the plant,” Vieira said.

He also mentioned placing mulch over perennial plants, which helps protect them in the winter. Don’t forget to remove the mulch away in the spring so the new growth doesn’t rot.

As for vegetable gardens, he said some people prefer to put compost in the gardens in the fall so that it seeps into the soil during the winter when snow falls and is ready in the spring.

The Horse Lake Garden Center has many gardening tools, watering cans, soil testers and more. They are open until the end of September and then are closed until mid-March. In between then, they will be available by appointment only, and you can call them at 250-395-3301.

Get the shelf

Did you know that you can use your leaves as mulch for your garden beds too? Just remember to remove them in the spring.

After you’re done shoveling, be sure to jump into the pile of papers at least once. If not you, the kids certainly will.


Don’t forget to empty your compost bins, freeing up space for winter food waste, said Oliver Berger of The Potato House in Williams Lake. He also mentioned keeping your compost pile smelling good during the fall by covering it with piles of leaves or straw.

“Watch out for bears before they hibernate,” he said, especially if you recently cleaned the bottom of your apple tree, something bears will love.

For those who need to dispose of food waste, both The Potato House and the South Cariboo Sustainability Society will accept it.

Bring the outdoors inside

This includes your patio furniture and perhaps some of your plants. You’ll also need to protect your grill, either with a cover or storing it safely in a storage shed.

Water springs

Don’t forget to turn off the water outside your home and store your water hose so it doesn’t get damaged throughout the winter.
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