Winter is coming. While you dream of a green spring, you should protect the plants in your garden from winter’s chill. By taking precautions now, you can save yourself time and money in the upcoming planting season.

Some can be taken inside and easily kept as houseplants until the threat of frost has passed. Boston ferns, begonias, and caladiums are among those that are treated as annuals in our area but can live to see another growing season when they are nestled among your other indoor plants. However, keep in mind that these plants are used to outdoor conditions. When you bring them inside, you need to make sure that they have lots of light. You may also need to increase the humidity around them with a humidifier or a humidity tray of pebbles.

Summer-blooming bulbs including dahlias, cannas and elephant ears will also need to come inside. Dig them up and allow the bulb, corm or tubers to completely dry. Store them in slightly damp peat moss in a cool, dark and dry area. Check on them throughout the winter to make sure none are rotting. You can plant them again in the spring.

Other plants in your garden may need to be covered with a frost cloth. You can purchase a frost cloth from your local garden center, or use an old sheet. Never cover your plants with plastic to protect them from frost. The fabric of the sheet or frost cloth allows air circulation to your plants, but the plastic does not. You can cover any plant with the cloth, but make sure you cover at least any plant with young buds or leaves to protect the new growth.

Make sure the roots of your plants are insulated with a layer of mulch. In warmer weather, mulch helps your garden by keeping weeds from taking over your garden beds and retaining water. When it gets cold, the mulch will keep the roots of your plants from freezing. One yard of mulch will cover 100 square feet of your garden with a 3-inch deep layer.

Preparation now will save you time, money, and effort when warm temperatures return. Have any questions about how to prepare your garden for winter? Our team at Martin’s Home & Garden is ready to help!

Jennifer Brown is the Marketing Coordinator for Martin’s Home & Garden. The family-owned full-service garden center has proudly served the Rutherford County community since 1982. Martin’s Home & Garden is located at 1020 NW Broad St. and can be reached by phone at (615) 867-7121.

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