Preparing Your Perennials for Winter - Ritchie Feed & Seed Inc.

Preparing Your Perennials for Winter

If you’re interested in preparing your perennials for winter, you’ll appreciate this practical guide. We’ve compiled some of the best tips, all of which are easy to understand and simple to follow. Now, let’s take a look at the smartest, most sensible ways to prep these types of flowers for the winter, with a mind to enjoying beautiful blossoms when the long winter in Ottawa is finally over:

Dig Up Perennial Bulbs

Once the first frost happens, it will be time to trim back foliage, dig up perennial bulbs and store these fragile bulbs somewhere warmer. In particular, bulbs that are known to be delicate should be dug up and stored – gladiolus and dahlia bulbs are examples. If you don’t dig up these bulbs before winter really sets in, the bulbs may be destroyed. Such bulbs aren’t designed to survive the very low temperatures that we see in the winters here in Ottawa.

Water and Trim Back Perennials

This advice only applies for hardy perennials or if it’s a particularly mild winter: you’ll benefit from watering your perennials monthly. This watering schedule will ensure that your perennials stay robust and healthy during this difficult part of the year. If your perennials are done for the season, trim their stems so that they measure six to eight inches (15-20 cm).

Nourish Your Perennials

Composting will be a great way to nourish perennials during the colder months. Some people spread four to six-inch layers of compost in flower beds during autumn. If you didn’t do this in the fall, do it now in order to give your perennials access to nutrients and in order to ensure that your soil is of the best quality possible.

Do Some Mulching

Once the earth freezes, get rid of older mulch and add evergreen boughs and hay instead. Some people put in floating row covers – this is another option. When you add this type of layer, your delicate perennials will be insulated. Hopefully, our straightforward guide will help you to plan correctly and to get everything done. It won’t take too much time to prep perennials for winter – however, it’s really important to follow every step on the list. If you want more advice about preparing your perennials or just want to talk gardening, come into your nearest Ritchie Feed & Seed location. We’re happy to help!