Living in the South does not require too many garden chores to prepare for winter, but there are a few that should be done to prevent a few disasters. And I may or may not have first hand experience at said disasters…
Bring Tender Plants Inside
If you have hanging baskets or pots of tender plants, you will need to create space in your home to overwinter them. A sunny room is ideal.
Check your 10 day weather forecast frequently in October for that first frost and get them inside before it hits.
If your house is dark and
cluttered you have no where to display your beautiful plants, a garage or a basement will work. Just don’t forget to water them…
MORE TO READ: How to Overwinter Wandering Jew
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Put Away Fabric Items
All your fabric cushions, pillows, blankets, and umbrellas will last a lot longer if they are stored for the winter. I do like to keep my cushions handy though for those beautiful
swealtering days we often get all along through our mild winters.
Before storing those fabric items, be sure they are dry. I like to open my umbrellas on a nice sunny breezy day to thoroughly dry them and them get them put away before the evening dew hits.
Or the storm blows it all off the deck.
Store Any Glass Art
Most garden art will survive just fine in the southern winters. But not glass bird baths. (or anything glass that will hold water) Glass does not like freezing and thawing.
MORE TO READ: Garden Art
Begin Compost Pile
Fall is the optimal time to start a compost pile! Use those leaves and dead garden plants to get started.
MORE TO READ: How to Start a Compost Pile
Fill Bird Feeders
One of the most fun ways to enjoy your garden in winter, is to feed the birds. They generally have plenty to eat during the other three months of the year from all the berries and bugs and flowers and vegetables in my yard. But come winter, it’s not so plentiful.
And besides, they are just so much fun to watch through the kitchen window. Be sure to keep your binoculars and bird guide book nearby.
And that is the total extent of my winter garden preparation.
You can do more of course.
Like cover crops, mulching, storage of other garden tools and items.
But with our milder winters which come in spurts, interlaced with warm, almost summer temps, there isn’t any hurry to get things done before a long winter, because we just don’t have one.
I will be mulching, more for weed deterrent than for cold protection.
Here are some much more detailed instructions for further north gardens from the Farmer’s Almanac about Preparing Your Garden for Winter.