Worried that the snow will be soon be flying and the ground will be frozen hard? Don’t despair, there are still a few weeks left for those of us who keep putting off the inevitable. Make sure you have a supply of those huge, sturdy garden compost bags, do a few stretches and put on some warm comfy clothing and you will be all set. Here is a short list of chores you should get done in the next couple of weeks (and don’t forget your winter tires while you’re at it!)

  • Divide overgrown perennials, including daylilies, hardy geraniums and Siberian iris.
  • Depending on what zone you live in, there may still be time to plant spring and summer flowering perennials. Ideally you should allow 6 weeks for root formation before winter sets in.
  • Cut down most perennials but do leave a few intact for winter interest such as perennial grasses, sedums and helleborus.
  • Water shrubs and trees well, right up to ground freeze-up, to help them through the winter.
  • Plant hardy, spring-flowering bulbs such as tulips, daffodils, crocus and scilla.
  • Rake and shred leaves, then bag them, ready to use as winter mulch or for your city to collect (or keep them for your own compost heap.)
  • Turn off water taps and store hoses and sprinklers.
  • Dig up tender bulbs and overwinter in a cool, dark, dry place.
  • Clean, sharpen and store tools.
  • Make sure you bring in any clay pots as they will crack with the freeze/thaw of winter.