Winter may be the quietest season in the garden, but there are some simple chores you can do to help your yard look its best this spring! So, when you’re ready to come out of hibernation, take advantage of any sunny winter days and check off Tilly’s 7 winter to-do’s. All activities will depend on where you live, but your garden will thank you in the spring.

  • Organize Your Tools. Wherever you store your tools could probably use some organization (and if it doesn’t, please call us and share your tips!). Winter is a great time to clean your garage or shed, sharpen tools and clean up any mud and mess. It’s spring cleaning, just a few months early! It’s also a great time to take a tool inventory, check out what our head landscape designer told Apartment Therapy are the most essential tools, here
  • Keep The Critters Out, if needed. Depending on where you live there may be some pesky winter animals that you’ll want to diligently protect against throughout the winter in order to have the best looking spring yard. Deer and rabbits will turn to woody plants and roots for food once foliage and fall fruits are gone. Sometimes it’s just a matter of making sure your fence is high enough, there are no openings for critters, and that your delicate plants are covered! 
  • Be a Friend to the Birds. We know we just talked about keeping critters out, but we do love animals (just not eating our garden) and like to be bird friendly! Winter is tough for our flying friends so help them out with bird feeders – this can be a fun activity for kids, hang a hummingbird feeder, or just scatter some leftover berries occasionally. 
  • Reapply Mulch. Mulch seems to come up in every blog post! But, it’s an important point of gardening to protect newly planted perennials or plants that are borderline in your zone. Mulch protects your plants from the harsh elements and insulates it. Then, don’t forget to remove the mulch in early spring so plants can thrive again.
  • Transplant Trees & Shrubs. You’ll want to transplant woody plants when they are dormant. Based on your area and zone you can figure out the best time to do this, but winter months will be your friend for this task! 
  • Prune! Prune trees and shrubs in late winter before they break dormancy. Pruning takes a lot of skill, but one of the biggest mistakes we see is not pruning hard enough. It’s best to research your particular plant to understand how to prune it, but also take into consideration your goal for it – do you need it to grow taller for privacy? Does it need to be symmetrical for curb appeal? 
  • Hire a Landscape Designer. Even if you use Tilly’s quick services, it’s always nice to have your plans in place before the spring season. There may be prep work for your design, such as taking down brick or cement walls, creating garden beds, etc. that can be done late winter. Also, if you are using a landscape team to help install, you will want to figure out who you are hiring in advance and get on their schedule before their busy season begins.