The days are growing shorter and cooler and it's said that a snowy winter is on the way. Which makes right now an ideal time to put your garden to bed so it will be well rested and ready to thrive come springtime. If you are planning to sell your home in the coming months the winterization steps you take for your plants will also help you keep your yard healthy and attractive to potential buyers, even in the deepest of winter dormancy. This list of must do's were compiled by Helen Chong at Realty Times.

  1. Pruning helps remove dead or diseased branches from trees and shrub, and will allow for stronger growth within the branches that remain. Pruning is also done to help control the growth of a plant to a desired size or shape. The amount of pruning and how you prune as well as when will depend on what you are pruning. Fruit trees, for example, grow fruit at various times in their growing seasons. You will want to confirm when your trees bear fruit, it could be after a year of growth, during a current season's growth or on spurs that grow after pruning.
  2. Mulching will protect your plants from the cold. A good thick layer of fresh mulch along the base of your plants will help regulate the temperature, effectively giving your plants a blanket. Be sure to remove any old mulch first as it may harbor pest eggs which could be devastating come spring. Once the first frost or close to freezing temperatures arrive, it is time to lay down the new layer of mulch. This will help maintain a steady temperature, protecting from fluctuations of freezing and melting periods. It is these changes that can cause damage to roots. Roses are vulnerable to the cold in particular. You can wrap rose bushes in a burlap mulch container to help them make it through the colder months. 
  3. Planting new trees, shrubs, and of course bulb planting is now ideal. By planting now they will be set to lie dormant for the winter, and ready to focus new growth and energy in the spring. Most fruit trees need at least 6 hours of daylight during the growing season so be sure to plan accordingly where you will plant any new trees, being sure they will get enough direct light. You should also delay fertilizing any new plants at this time, as fertilizer will encourage continued growth and the energy needed to dormancy may be depleted too much for a plant to survive the winter.

Some other quick tips include checking for pests regularly and make any repairs to flower beds, clean up any dead flowers or stalks as well.

With just a little time and care, you can prepare your garden to survive the winter and burst forth with a bouquet of color come spring. If you are ready to sell your home the extra steps toward winterizing your garden will give you an extra edge in attracting potential buyers as well. 

Click here to read the original article, or click here for even more great winterizing tips from Better Homes and Gardens.