Preparing a yard for winter...

Old 09-06-02, 08:18 AM
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Question Preparing a yard for winter...

Hi all! I am a new home owner after renting for nine years. I have a few flower beds, lilac trees, a crab apple tree and would like to start another flower bed for the coming year. Soon the snow will fly *shudder* and I was wondering what I should be doing to prepare my flower beds and trees for the harsh Red Lake winter. I have removed the leaders from the lilacs as I want them to look more like a tree rather than a bush. How and when do I prune my apple tree? What do I do to my flower beds? The only perrenials they have are pansies and tulips. I want to make a bed beside our sauna -- should I dig it this fall, or wait until spring? What care should my lawn get before winter. It has been neglected this summer as it was being only cut by the caretaker...our possession date was August 1, so we have merely cut and watered it. It is full of weeds and needs to be fertilized. What should we do?

Any advice is appreciated for any of the above questions.

Thank you in advance for your guidance...

Old 09-07-02, 11:20 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Maryland zone 7
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Hi Andrea,

I'll try and answer all your questions.

Do scratch in a little lime for your lilac as they like a more alkaline soil and it helps with the blooms.

Prune your apple tree in late winter, late February or early March. Here's a site that should be helpful.

Do look at the first page of the Garden section here as there are some very helpful links on pruning trees and shrubs. It's currently under the first post titled VB Code & HTML Code, but might be changed back to a separate one by the time you read this.

For your flower beds, clean up any foilage that is messy and put down a top dressing of compost and mulch or just mulch. Don't cover the crowns of the plants. A 3" layer should be just fine.

For the new flower bed, you could mix in a 3" layer of compost now and put another 3" layer on top for the winter. Come spring all you'll need to do is plant and mulch. You could wait until spring to do it if you like and you won't need the extra 3" layer of compost on top.

For your lawn, there's some handy links at the above mentioned site as well. You could use vinegar for your weeds. Then put down a half inch layer of compost. The fall is the best time to do this. Leave the grass cut at about 2 1/2".

Hope this helps. If you need more info, feel free to ask.

Old 09-07-02, 11:31 PM
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Smile A home of your own.

Hi Andrea,

I'm not going to move this post to Lawns, because you have so many garden questions as well.

It's great to be buying instead of renting I rented the place we are buying for 15 years, so now I get to buy it for 15 years.

So it took a while for me to settle down, & the great part is the trees. We may just be here long enough to get some of the fruit we have planted.

Pruning is not so hard although you need to prune each plant in the way it needs. Apples have to be pruned & trained & some plants like Red Raspberries need to be cut to the ground.

What I do is start with a search, say at & find sites for the plants & trees you intend to prune. Copy what you find, and start a garden folder or note book first.

I am sure some of our members can help you with some choices on what your lawn needs at this time.

As for building beds I do them in the early winter because I get so busy in early spring, I just don't have time to start & finnish new beds. Also it gives me time, over Winter to really make up my mind just what I want to plant.

You should make a plan so that you can have flowers coming in all season, early Spring, Spring, Summer, late Summer, Fall until frost. With a little planing this is not that hard to have color all seasons.

Do you look at your growing spaces & see a plan that pleases you now? Let's work from that angle first


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