Tuesday, November 17th, 2009 | by admin

Fall and Winter Gardening Tips

By: Shari Mayorga of Exterior Innovations

Fall and winter are slow in the garden, or so some think. There’s actually a lot to do, especially here in central Texas.

Plant trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs and wildflower seeds. Planting in the fall or winter allows the plant’s root system to get established well before the temperatures rise. Even though the top of the plant may die back after it’s planted, the roots will still grow, and in the spring the plant will start vigorous growth.

Top-dress your lawn and flower beds with a thin layer (1/4 – ½”) of compost. Healthy soil leads to healthy plants. The nutrients from the rich compost will wash down into the roots during the winter/spring rains and your plants will thank you in the growing season to come. Top-dressing helps your lawn by decreasing thatch, increasing fertility levels, and introducing some beneficial organisms that will help your lawn’s soil long-term.

Add mulch to your flower beds. Mulch is extremely important in this area. It helps: stabilize the soil temperature throughout the year, decrease soil evaporation, reduce weeds, reduce evaporation, reduce soil compaction and it is usually more aesthetically pleasing. Caution: do not mulch right around the base of trees or shrubs; this encourages rot and attracts insects.

Start a compost pile! This is a great way to recycle your grass clippings, leaves, coffee grounds and more. You can buy a compost bin or make a container easily at home. The end result is home made compost that will enrich your garden.

Prune your trees and shrubs. Most trees are dormant in the winter, which is the best time to trim them (unless it is a winter/spring bloomer – then trim after bloom). If pruning oaks, pruning spray should ALWAYS be used to prevent the spread of oak wilt. Trees other than oak don’t need the spray; it actually inhibits the plant’s ability to heal from the cuts.


Exterior Innovations has the experience and the knowledge to design, install and/or maintain your landscape. They also provide reasonable consultation rates to those who just need direction or like to do it themselves. They are fully licensed, degreed, and have references available.
(830) 885-7767 or (210) 274-3529