Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Getting Ready for Winter

What do you do to prepare your home or garden or yard for winter?

We no longer have much in the way of a garden. Between the altitude, latitude and semi-desert conditions, it's tough to grow much. I've taken to putting most of my flowers into pots so that I can put them in the garage for the last freezes or afternoon spring hailstorms. That makes winter preparations a breeze. Most of the flowers are annuals, and I allow them to follow the natural rhythms of nature. In the spring, I'll empty out the old dirt from the pots and start over again.

With one exception. I've got one geranium that I've managed to keep alive for five years now. I bring it inside each fall and baby it through the long winter. Between the limited natural sunlight of short days and the artificial sunlight from a specialty bulb, the geranium may not thrive but it survives. That month after I bring it in, however, while it's still in full bloom, is enough of a reward for the extra effort.

I normally put in one tomato plant each year. Because I don't start to get tomatoes until September, it doesn't make sense to to put in more. As it is, before the first frost, I end up harvesting all the tomatoes with even a hint of red color, wrapping them in newspaper and putting them in a dark place. That allows most of them to ripen (over several weeks) to a point where they can be enjoyed. (If you've never done this, the trick is to check the tomatoes every few day and catch them before they are fully ripened. You can finish them up on a windowsill if you have one. You want to make sure and use them before they start to rot,)

Depending upon the year and the weather, I might need to mow the yard one more time. I've been told it's a good idea to put down some weed-n-feed after the first snowfall, but I haven't tried it. Maybe this year.

Luckily, there's not much I need to do to get the house itself ready for the winter. And winters can get cold here. Our windows are double-pane glass, so no need to put up storm windows and take down screens. I make sure I have a supply of salt for the sidewalk and steps, and know where my snow shovel is. I'll drain the hoses, roll them up, and store them away in the garage. If I'm in the mood, I'll wash the windows one final time. It's nice to be able to watch the first gentle snowfalls through clean windows.

Sp what do you do to get ready for winter? Tell us in the comments.

And if you want to find out what are other authors have to say, check out the links below. I'm eager to find out what Lela Markham has to say. You can find her post at Lela Markham. You can check out her books while you're there, or catch them on Amazon. Lela on Amazon

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