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How build healthy soil over winter

Now that the growing season is over and you may even be done with your fall cleanup, there’s still things that you can do to promote healthy plant life in your gardens for next year’s season. Depending on what you’re growing in your your gardens, containers and landscape, nutrients may have been drained from your soil during this year’s growth, and this can especially be true if you haven’t added anything back into your soil after consecutive growing years. The freeze of winter is a great time to add nutrients back into your soil, as the growing season is over and no plants will be continuing the drain on your soil’s reserves.

As explained by our Garden Center Manager and Horticulturalist, Sean Ducey, “we promote healthy soil vs. fertilizing. Building a good, rich, high organic soil typically doesn’t need additional fertilizer. After you cut back all of your perennials for the season you can add about 2 inches of compost over your beds and let that slowly break down over the winter. You will slowly build up your organic material and help naturally feed your plants. If you find that you need to fertilize, then it is recommended to get a soil test and then only add what is needed to get your soil back on track.”

We’ve already gone over how to prepare your garden beds and landscape for winter, cutting back plants and clearing debris. By considering the health of your soil at the end of the year, you aren’t tacking on too much extra work (as the winter will handle decomposition for you), and your plants will reward your extra work the following year with lush plant life or overflowing homegrown produce.

We recommend using our mushroom compost, a high quality combination of composted straw, horse manure and supplemental nutrients, available in bags or bulk, for pickup or delivery. The high nutrient values are excellent for inducing plant growth and health, while the structural characteristics are ideal for loosening and improving the heavy soils. We also carry leaf mulch, peat moss and mulch by the bag or yard.

Whispering Hills Garden and Landscape Center is a full service landscape center and nursery located in Cary, Illinois. Stop in today for our full selection of deciduous trees and shrubs, now 50% off. (Updated: 11/10/21)

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