Saving Your Garden from the Winter Freeze!

Winter garden care

Worried winter weather will wipe out your garden’s color and feathered friends? Have no fear, says Metro natural gardening specialist Carl Grimm: "There are plenty of natural ways to protect your garden and the birds that visit."

Evergreens aren’t just pretty – they shelter birds from winter weather

To stay warm and dry this winter, birds need the dense cover of your yard’s evergreen trees and shrubs. Plus, tiny bug eggs and larvae on the branches give birds vital fatty foods to fuel their body warmth all winter. Don’t have any evergreens? As soon as it’s a little warmer and dryer - even before spring - check the nurseries for evergreens in every shade of green.

Mulches protect plant roots from frost and come in beautiful shades of brown

Haven’t raked your leaves yet? Now you have the perfect excuse. Simply leave them on the ground to help your garden grow throughout winter. Spread them on your beds like a blanket and they’ll prevent frost damage. They also look nice, stop weeds, reduce stormwater runoff and feed the worms and bugs that make free fertilizer for your plants.

Are your blooms saying, "Brrrrrrrr"?

Most fall flowers will have faded after the first good cold snap. Others survive just fine and help complement the Anna’s hummingbird diet of tiny bugs and bits of tree sap with calorie-rich nectar. Rosemary and heather flowers seem to hold their own against the cold. Pieris and hellebore also offer beautiful winter blooms.

Spare the clippers to spoil the chirpers

Even if some of your plants look worse for the wear in winter weather, consider waiting until early spring to prune. This will help protect them from frost. Plus, your winged friends will thank you for helping them with extra nesting material, shelter and places to forage for food.

For more tips and resources on natural gardening click here or call Metro Recycling Information at 503-234-3000.

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