PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — We still have more growing season… but not much. So it’s time to start thinking about putting our gardens to bed. Jeff O'Donal of O’Donal’s greenhouses says there are things you will want to consider.
A lot of people get lazy and just let the garden go. For a little plants that's okay. Most of the time that's fine. You can just rake up the small mounds of dead leaves in the Spring.
But if you have tall plants, you will want to cut them back. If you don’t they will fall and create layers of dead stems that will provide a home for rodents during the winter. Rodents will eat the tops of the remains plants underneath. That would harm the root system and those plants won’t be able to recover. A lot of people like to leave tall grasses because they look pretty in the winter. O’Donal says that’s fine. In the spring when it's falling all over the place you can put your mower over it and mow it down.
If you want to protect your garden from rodent damage, O’Donal says his best advice to people is use what's over the counter. That would be D-con or something like that. If you just put D-con in your garden in the first storm it will get wet and won't work anymore. So protect it in some manner. He suggests you take a can and put the D-con the inside and put it in your garden. It might freeze, but it'll stay dry. If the mice can't fit, make a bigger hole. If you have plants have questionable hardiness, you may want to mulch them. You can use hay or bark mulch, or even sand or gravel.
As for putting burlap around your trees. O’Donal says that doesn't really protect against cold. It might help protect against wind damage and certainly for controlling deer damage. It will help Aarborvitae, Upright Yews, and Blue Princess Holly's. Those are all landscape plants that you can protect.