Colder temperatures have arrived, at least for a day or two in Middle Tennessee. We are fortunate that in our region gardening is not regulated to day dreams, staring out the window or Pinterest! Regardless of the climate today, you can usually count on a change so here are a few things you can be doing to plan and prepare your landscape for spring.
1. Dig up tender bulbs, such as Dahlias, caladium, and colocasia. Wipe or brush the excess dirt from the bulbs, wrap in newspaper and store in a cool dry place such as a basement or garage.
2. Mulch your leaves back into your lawn or landscape beds. Leaves are part of Mother Nature’s free and organic fertilization plan!
3. If you have tender perennials, such as Geum, some Phlox paniculata, Echinaceas and Rudebeckias, etc., give them a nice winter blanket of leaves and mulch for insulation against harsh winter winds and temperatures. You can also try this with hardier annuals, such as Lantana, Alocasia and Setcresia.
4. Still more leaves? If you haven’t already, start a compost pile now and you’ll be creating some wonderfully nutritious additives for your future gardens.
5. Clean up your expired vegetable plants. Again, these are great additions to your compost piles and by leaving a few vegetables to decompose in your garden you may be surprised by volunteer plants next summer!
6. Plant your spring bulbs now! Planting may be the last thing you really want to think about doing, but you will thank yourself in the spring as you are rewarded with beautiful blooms when everything around you is still rather dreary. As a rule of thumb, plant your bulbs three times deeper than the bulbs’ height with the pointy side up and the flat side (with little roots) down.
7. If you haven’t already, plant some pansies and violas if you can still locate some at your local garden center. Despite their name, pansies are some of the hardiest annuals you will find withstanding snow and freezing temperatures then bouncing back with a vengeance once the temperatures begin to warm a bit in the spring.
8. Cut back your perennials. Remove any dead stems, flower buds and leaves from your perennials. Hang on to a few seed pods from your perennials and annuals if you’d like to grow your own inside over the winter.
9. Cut back ornamental grasses in early spring and do heavy pruning in the dead of winter when you’re sure everything is dormant to avoid any new growth becoming damaged by frost.
10. Does all of this sound overwhelming to you? Is your schedule too busy to get things like this done? Call, email or message your professional landscapers at Artisan landscape group and we will take care of these tasks for you, treating your yard as if it were our own!