The Great Outdoors


 Doug Hackbarth - Broadview Florist & GreenhousesNow that the cold weather has set in and your flowers and vegetables have been “nipped” by the freezing temperatures, it is time to do the year-end clean up. Out in the garden, I like to get out my hedge clippers and start chopping away at the foliage of the tomatoes and peppers, cutting them up into small pieces so that they will break down all winter long, adding nutrients and “body” to my garden soil. Collect all of the flowers from around your yard, window boxes, as well as your hanging baskets and toss them into your garden after chopping them up.

Next you need to add old fertilizers and lime to the chopped up foliage which will aid in the breaking down of the leaves and stems and also add more nutrients to you soil. This is like a compost pile, only right in your garden. As with all compost piles, you need to turn it all over once in the fall and again in the spring. You can also add a good amount of tree leaves into the mix, just don’t get carried away. And avoid any leaves from walnut trees.

Schedule another time later this fall for any pruning or cutting back your perennials. Trimming or cutting off dead blossoms from your roses or other blooming perennials too early will stimulate growth and that is not what you want to do just before winter. It is better to wait for colder weather, sometime closer to Thanksgiving before you cut off those dead blooms.

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Doug Hackbarth

Doug's is the former owner of Broadview Florist & Greenhouses in Waynedale. He authors a garden & landscaping article in the newspaper. In his adolescence he attended Hillcrest, Kekionga and Elmhurst HS. His expertise has been shared in print, tv and radio. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer