What you need to do to prepare your garden for winter

We have enjoyed our gardens all summer, but it is time to prepare them for winter.

Here are some tasks to do now to help you next year.

Vegetable gardens. Finish harvesting tender crops before the first hard frost.

Crops like some leafy vegetables and kale can continue to grow; they actually appreciate cooler temperatures.

Herbs like sage, thyme and oregano are perennials that will survive being in the ground over winter. However, if you want rosemary or basil, you need to dig up the plants and put them in the house.

Remove any fallen fruit and garden debris. Till the soil, add compost or leaves, and cover with straw until you are ready to plant again in the spring.

Protection of plants. In your ornamental garden, you can add compost or mulch before the ground freezes.

Use your leaves; they provide nutrients to the soil as they break down over the winter.

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