Skip to main content

Getting Your Garden Ready for Winter

By Elizabeth Takakjian


For many gardeners closing up the garden for the winter months is often more of an afterthought brought on by cold mornings and shorter days than a planned end to the season. Still there are sunny, pleasant fall days to enjoy in the garden before the last leaves fall.

Take these simple steps to prepare your garden for winter:

  1. Clear you garden of all spent plant debris
  2. Lay down a layer of manure, chopped leaves, and grass clippings to cover up your garden because Mother Nature doesn’t like to be naked! Over the winter months the material you spread on your garden will break down enhancing your soil adding nutrients, building up organic matter, preventing wind erosion, and keeping the cold weather weeds at bay both this fall and early next spring.
  3. Sanitize your plant stakes, cages and tools*
  4. Reorganize your storage area, placing the items you’ll need in the spring within easy reach.

During the winter as the snow piles up and the wind blows you can rest assured that you garden though resting it is busy reaping the benefits of your efforts as decomposition continues at a slow pace. Come spring you will be pleasantly surprised at how easily the mulched soil is to work and glad you prepared your garden for the winter.

*Information on disinfecting your plant stakes and cages can be found here. See # 17: Frequently asked Questions.

Elizabeth Takakjian is a Program Educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County’s Family Health and Wellness Program, as well as a Master Gardener. She can be reached at 631-727-7850 ext. 325 or at


Leave a Reply