Winterizing Your Garden in Cottage Country: Tips and Tricks

Written by: Rose Stephan



Time to read min

If you're a gardener in Ontario, it's important to start thinking about preparing your garden for the winter months ahead. Here are some tips to get your garden ready for the colder weather.

Collect Seeds

Saving vegetable and flower seeds in the fall is a great way to save money and ensure you have the plants you want for next year. Collect seeds from your healthiest plants, and store them in a cool, dry place until next spring.

Pull Dead Plants and Weeds

Removing any dead plants or weeds from your garden is important to prevent pests and disease from overwintering. Be sure to dispose of these properly, as composting them could spread any disease or pests.

Clean Out Any Rocks or Lumps of Clay

Removing any rocks, lumps of clay, or other debris from your garden will help improve drainage and prevent standing water in the winter months. This will help prevent root rot in your plants.

Test the Soil

Testing the pH and nutrient levels of your soil is important to determine what you need to add to your garden to help your plants thrive. Many garden centers offer soil testing services, or you can purchase a soil testing kit to do it yourself.

Add Compost

Adding compost to your garden in the fall will give it time to break down over the winter months, and provide your plants with valuable nutrients come spring. Be sure to mix the compost into the soil well.

Plant Garlic and Perennials

Fall is a great time to plant garlic and perennials, as they will have time to establish roots before the winter months. Garlic is also a natural pest repellent, and can help keep pests away from your garden next year.

Cut Back Your Perennials

Pruning can be beneficial for healthy plants, but timing is key. It's better to wait until spring to prune certain plants because they will drop seeds for next year's growth. However other plants should be pruned in the fall. Here's a helpful breakdown of which plants should be pruned in the fall versus the spring:

    Fall Pruning

  • Astilbe
  • Bearded Iris
  • Bee Balm
  • Catmint
  • Columbine
  • Day Lily and other lilies
  • Gaillardia
  • Hostas
  • Peony
  • Salvia
  • Solomon’s Seal
  • Yarrow

    Spring Pruning

  • Annual Wildflowers
  • Butterfly Weed
  • Echinacea (Coneflower)
  • Ferns
  • Heuchera (Coral Bells)
  • Ornamental grasses
  • Rudbeckia (Black Eyed Susan)

Decide if You Want to Expand Your Garden

Fall is also a great time to decide if you want to expand your garden next year. Take note of what worked well this year, and what didn't, and plan accordingly.

By following these tips, you'll be well on your way to preparing your garden for winter and ensuring a successful growing season next year in Ontario.

Sincerely, Roger and Rose

Roger & Rose at Home with Bobcaygeon Home Hardware