It's that time again!

Last night's little bit of frost reminds us that winter is on its way and it's time to bring in or protect all the items in the garden that can’t handle our winters. Our bluebirds and mushrooms all need to be tucked safely inside until next spring as well as any glazed, ceramic birdbaths you may have.

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Container Care

All containers are susceptible to cracking in winter because temperatures fluctuate, causing repeated freezing and thawing cycles. Terracotta and ceramic containers should always be brought in or covered. There are a few high fired ceramics that can withstand winter temperatures. You'll find that they have thicker walls and a darker color.

If you are leaving your ceramic containers outside with soil in them, make sure to remove about half of the soil and raise them off the ground to provide drainage and prevent them from freezing to the ground. Make sure the drainage holes are not blocked. Adding some styrofoam can help to avoid expansion if your container should freeze. You can arrange your holiday greens with the leftover soil in the container! If you plan on emptying the soil from your containers it's best to turn them upside down, cover them, or move them into your garage to protect them from the elements.

Containers that are made of concrete, cast iron, fiberstone or comparable faux materials can withstand our cold winters but they will also need to be raised up from the ground to ensure that water doesn't collect in them.

Take Pictures of your garden now

Right now it a good time to take some pictures of your garden. You'll be able to see where everything is planted and look for any holes you might want to fill next spring. Want some help planning? We still have landscaping appointments available if you'd like to hit the ground running in the spring.

Fall Garden Prep

It's a good idea to wait to prune back many of the plants in your garden. Pruning will force new growth and the new growth will not have time to harden off before winter sets in. It's also a nice to leave seed heads, spent flowers and some debris in your garden. These can be a food source or shelter for birds, beneficial insects, and other animals as well as add some winter interest to your yard.

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If you are truly in the mood to prune, you can take a look at your trees and prune any ‘suckers’ that are growing at the base of your tree. These branches that pop-up at the base of your tree will ‘suck’ the energy from the tree. Removing them allows the tree to focus its growth. If you haven't already, you can also cut back some perennials in your garden that are more susceptible to powdery mildew like, hosta, phlox or monarda. Remember, don't put their cut leaves in your compost pile, just toss them to avoid spreading it next year.

Winter Rose Prep

Late November after the ground freezes, we recommend protecting your grafted roses (hybrid tea, grandiflora, and floribunda). Shrub roses (Knock Out, Flower Carpet, etc) do not need to be protected over the winter. To protect your grafted roses, surround with chicken wire and fill with about 8-12” of loose mulch and leaf clippings. Evergreen boughs will also make a great mulch and help keep the rabbits away. If you have bags of garden mix/mulch that you plan to use later in November bring it into your garage. That way it won’t be frozen when you need to use it. We do not recommend using rose cones. We wait until late November to protect roses because if the temperatures are too warm when the mulch is applied, the stems and crown can start to rot. This can also happen inside the cones.

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Say No To 'Volcanos'

We're seeing some ‘volcanos’ of mulch at the base of trees around town. Mulch should ring the truck of the tree no more than 3" deep and shouldn't touch the trunk itself. Taper mulch down to the root flair because the trunk needs to breathe and shouldn't be covered. Moisture buildup from over mulching will rot the bark and those mounds of mulch can become a nice winter home for pesky rodents. This is also good practice for shrubs and perennials. Keep mulch away from the base of the plant so you don't smother them.

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Call Us with Questions!

Have a question on something we didn't cover? Feel free to give us a call, we'll be happy to answer. It's still a good time to plant trees and shrubs and you can get some great deals.

Aurora Location

2000 Montgomery Road,

Aurora, IL 60504

Phone. 630-820-8088

Naperville Location

25w471 Plank Road,

Naperville, IL 60563

Phone. 630-355-4000

Holiday Shop Hours

November 1-December 23
Monday-Saturday: 9:00am-4:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am-4:00pm  

Growing for the future with
right plants in right places.