Six Things To Winterize In Your Backyard

Frosty temperatures and short days remind us that winter is here and that outdoor gardening is done for a while. Here are a few practices you should develop to end this growing season and ready your garden for the next season.


  1. Greenhouse: Remove all old plant material, as pests and disease can overwinter in dead leaves. If your heat-activated vent opener is black and brass, remove the cylinder. If you purchased your greenhouse from us in 2022 or 2023, you would have a different opener and it should be fine to leave in place over winter. Use soap and water with hydrogen peroxide to wash down the shelf (about 1 tablespoon per litre of water).
  2. Pots: Empty your ceramic pots and put them someplace where they won’t get snowed or rained on over the winter months. A shed, garage or even under a tarp will work. Remember that moisture expands when it freezes so if there is moisture in the soil in the pots, you run the risk of breakage, which is why I empty the pots into my compost.
  3. Perennials: Cut back any perennials that show signs of disease like powdery mildew and dispose of the cuttings in the garbage (not in your compost).
  4. Garden Beds: Top your garden beds with finished compost and top your strawberry and garlic beds and other perennials with leaf mulch or straw mulch.
  5. Rain Barrels: Empty your rain barrels. Leave the valves open. Some people turn them upside down to avoid capturing mid winter melt which can then freeze and damage your valve or barrel.
  6. Watering Hose: Disconnect your hose from the main water source and ensure the hose is empty. If your house has a shutoff valve for the external hose bib, turn that off and then open the exterior bib so it is emptied of all water.