Written in collaboration with Trevor Davis

Even if summer is gone, your plants still need to be taken care of in order to live. If you want them to survive long, don’t be afraid of cleaning them up and changing their soil because if you’re not adequately preserving your plants, they might not endure the weather changes, regardless if you keep them inside or outside. So, here’s some advice on how to maintain your plants during seasonal climate change.

Clean up rotten plants 

If you plan on leaving the spoiled parts of your plant attached to its body, you might reconsider this because some of them are at risk of developing diseases, funguses and attracting pests. The cause of such problems might be high humidity and low airflow, so check if your plants have been growing without adequate spacing to get their proper air circulation. Don’t be afraid of getting rid of the dead parts of the plant because if you take care of it, it will regenerate and grow again. 

Remove invasive weeds

It’s normal to get busy sometimes and neglect your plants, but this is the best moment to get rid of bindweed or other unwelcome herbs in your garden. It’s also best to throw them in the trash because most weeds can thrive in a weed pile, which is why you may struggle to eradicate them. You can also minimise their occurrence by considering chemical solutions (pre-emergent herbicide) to stop weed seeds from germinating. 

Amend your soil 

Seasons change, so it’s important to add some nourishment to the soil for plants to adapt better to weather changes. Adding soil amendments like manure and compost (that you can make with leftovers) can help nutrients break down and enrich the soil. But know that amending your ground means that you need to mulch it to prevent rain and snow from washing it below the root zone, so you should do this in early spring too.

Plant cover crops

Cover crops help prevent soil erosion and increase organic matter levels in garden beds. So, you can plant anything from rye, vetch, clover or field peas to increase the nitrogen levels in your garden. Cultivating such plants accordingly is important because not all of them can endure high temperatures, while others can attract wireworm beetles. An alternative to cover tops is adding a thick layer of leaves over the soil to smother soil-born weeds during winter. 

Repot your plants

Although spring is the best time to repot, some plants won’t be able to survive winter outside (petunias, snapdragons, begonias), so it would be best to take them indoors. Take your outdoor planters and follow these steps for repotting:

  • Layer the soil mix into the new pot
  • Water the plant thoroughly to remove it safely
  • Untangle old roots and put the plant in its new pot

Since the plant is in a new environment, you’ll need to water it frequently, keep it away from direct sunlight since it’ll be more sensitive and hold off on fertiliser for about a month. Following these steps, you’ll be able to keep your plant alive and thriving. 

Take care of indoor flowers

If you have indoor plants, know that these, too, need more attention during the winter. You may want to choose sustainable flower pots for them to flourish, but remember to mist your flowers twice a day to avoid them being affected by the dryness in the air. But don’t overwater them because flowers require less water in the winter since the growth is at a slower rate. Still, flowers need a humid environment and less dust on their leaves so they can “breathe” better.

Regenerate your compost 

If you don’t know what to do with the old compost, it’s time to give it a fresh change. First, you should check the compost made over the summer and use it to top garden beds or fertilise lawns. Then, it would be best if you started a new batch for the spring and next summer. To successfully create it, use plenty of autumn leaves, straws and sawdust in combination with kitchen scraps and green matter. Add carbon materials to absorb the moisture (pat or dry leaves) to keep the compost in great condition. 

If you prefer to make a batch of compost indoors, you can get an insulated sealed composter that will not emit any unpleasant odours. This system can help the compost remain active, and you’ll have an excellent organic fertiliser for early spring. You can add in this container most kitchen waste and other organic materials, coffee grounds, tea leaves, nut shells, egg shells and much more. 

Replenish mulch 

Mulching in the fall season is great because you have all those leaves to add to reduce water loss and protect the soil. Plus, mulching prepares the ground for colder weather since it transitions to the freezing and thawing that’s to come. So, make a thick layer of mulch on the soil surface to regulate its temperatures and moisture, but add the layer gradually so that the leaves won’t clump and mat together, as it slows down their decomposition process. 

Check the condition of your garden 

If you notice that some plants are performing great or barely living, it’s time to make a few changes for the following spring. So, consider looking for alternatives regarding plants that didn’t make it this season, despite your efforts. On the other hand, consider extending your yield for plants that survived and flourished by adding similar plants in your garden. Finally, analyse the moisture levels, plant placement and soil fertility levels for the next season and change them if you think the current ones are not doing any good for your garden.

Wrapping up 

Taking care of your plants can be challenging, especially when your efforts go to waste. Still, plants need more care when the seasons change because colder temperatures will decrease their growing process, so consider repotting and taking them inside or preparing your plants for winter. 

You may also like...