Winter Gardening Tips from Purdue Extension

     Those Bulbs and Pull the Blanket Over Your Garden

     Fewer daylight hours; gray, rainy days and colder temperatures are reminders that winter is just a few quick weeks away. Use any days of sunshine to plant bulbs and put the garden to bed using this tips from Purdue Extension Porter County.

    Wrap Your Trees: Smooth barked trees such as young maples and crab apples among others could suffer trunk-splitting damage. This is caused by bark expanding from a combination of cold nights and sunny winter days. To prevent damage, young trees should be protected with tree wrap. Wrap the trunk in late November and mark your calendar to remove it in March before the growing season begins.

     Mound the Roses: Most roses are grafted. The bump on the bottom of the rose trunk is the graft. The graft should be protected from winter temperature extremes by covering the graft with a mound of soil about 12 inches deep.

     Feed and Weed Your Lawn: People are often surprised to learn that fall the optimum time to feed and weed lawn. Application of a weed and feed fertilizer will improve turf health while destroying next year’s perennial weeds.

     Take Care of Gardening Tools: Clean and sharpen cutting edges. Apply a light coating of oil on tines and metal parts, and boiled linseed oil on wooden handles.

     Protect Plants from Pesky Rodents and Deer: Protect plants from winter-foraging small animals and deer. Animal repellents can be used, but are expensive and have to be re-applied. Wire fencing is still the best defense.

     For more information about winter garden care, call the Porter County Master Gardener Hotline, 219-465-3555 or visit purdue/edu ttps://

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Sue Baxter