Winterizing Your Plant Babies

Bring in Any Tropicals/Houseplants Indoors
If you have any potted tropical plants or annuals that you want to keep around for another summer, be sure to bring them indoors. Tropicals cannot withstand our deep frost and cold temperatures, and potted plants’ root systems will not be well protected in plastic or fiberglass pots.

Take the time to clean up your plants, removing dead leaves, dead blooms, and re-potting if your plants are bursting at the seams. Gradually adjust your plants to less sunny locations in your home, giving them time to transition to changed amounts of sunlight and moisture.
Before bringing them indoors, be sure to check for bugs! You don’t want to be bringing any bugs into your home that could damage your indoor plants. Try washing your plants and spraying them with a gentle insect spray, or any other homemade remedies you already prefer.
Plant New Shrubs and Divide Perennials
Take the time to walk through your gardens and decide space that can be filled with new shrubs or perennials. Fall is a terrific time to do this because the colours, textures, and knowledge on what bloomed when, how long it lasted, and when you would want colours to help balance your garden out will be fresh in your memory. You can also take the time to divide large perennials, finding space for them in other areas of your garden and balancing plant sizes.
Give the Gardens a Thorough Weeding
Make sure your gardens are well weeded, and get rid of any invasive weed or plants that may have made their way into the garden. You want to have your garden as healthy as possible before heading into winter.
Deadhead/Cut Back Perennials
Take the time to clean up around your plants, removing any dead leaves or spent stalks. This can help prevent disease and it will also help give your garden a tidy look before heading into the winter season.
Bundle Up New Shrubs
Use burlap to wrap up newly planted or less-than-hardy trees and shrubs. It is important to protect the young plants from the bitter winds and snow, and a layer or two of burlap will help them weather the season until they’re better established. Spray any broadleaved evergreens or recently planted evergreens with an anti-desiccant such as Wilt-Pruf or wrap them with a double layer of burlap to prevent the foliage from drying out!  Remember to wrap your Japanese
Maple trees as well. Wrapping tree trunks with burlap or spiral tree guards is also a good way to keep any critters away. Make sure to weigh down the protection rather than tying it to the trunk of your tree or plant to ensure it stays happy and healthy for the Spring (see below).
Water Your Evergreens
Give your evergreens a thorough watering before final freeze up. The moist ground will freeze and be a better insulator throughout the winter than dry soil.
Plant Your Fall Bulbs
Fall is the time to plant your spring blooming bulbs! Fall planting bulbs can be planted any time between late September and January, but most gardeners plant fall bulbs in October and November, about the same time you would plant garlic. Fall planting bulbs will bloom the following spring and early summer.
Put Down Mulch
Put down a thick layer of mulch in your garden beds, particularly around newly planted shrubs and perennials. You can also hill/mound particularly tender plants, such as roses and newly planted perennials and woody shrubs, with 12” of triple mix and mulch. This will help insulate the plants and protect the roots against continually freezing and thawing cycles.
Water Features
Take the time to cover your pond with a net to stop leaves from landing on the water. Switch to a cold-water bacteria as the water temperature drops to mimic nature’s cleaning agents and decrease the sludge build up come spring.
If you have fish in your pond, stop feeding them when the water temperature drops below 10C, as their digestive systems slow during the winter and any food they take in out of habit may sit in their bellies and cause harm. Maintain a 6” to 8” opening in the surface for gas exchange and a source of oxygen through winter, and if you’re not using a pond de-icer, move your pump near the surface and keep it running all winter, as the movement of the surface water will help prevent freeze up.
If you have any questions or concerns about your plants, feel free to give us a call at the Garden Centre, or DM us on Instagram! We are always happy to help provide information and techniques we use at our homes. 
Phone: 905-648-2157
Instagram: @harpersgardenc
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