Six Fall Tips To Prep Your Garden For Spring

Six Fall Tips To Prep Your Garden For Spring

Pruning for winter without cutting corners

As the shorter days signal the coming of winter, there is one essential task to complete in your garden: pruning back your shrubs and trees so they survive the coming cooler days.

Maintaining a garden makes a substantial difference to the value and desirability of your home when the time comes to sell.

Gardens can sway buyers, especially when reducing their short list of desirable properties.

These six tips will prime your garden for next spring and summer. 

Trees and shrubs

Only prune after they've dropped their leaves. It will be an excellent opportunity to reshape the plant if it has become a little unruly. Avoid heavy pruning as this may encourage growth just when it should be falling into dormancy for winter.

Fruit Trees

All pip trees, including apples and pears, should be pruned right now. Try to cut into the trees to open up the centers to improve the amount of air and sunlight that can penetrate. Remove dead and diseased branches. 


A wonderful shrub that's everyone's favorite. But it's so easy to kill it when pruning. Only cut the new growth. Never cut it back to the wood. If you're too brutal with lavender, it will not survive.


A light prune is ideal at this time of year for hybrid tea roses. Again, look for dead or diseased canes. Remove canes that have grown in the wrong direction and will limit sunlight penetrating the plant.


Wait until these have died back before getting out your secateurs. Resist the temptation to cut them back too hard, but it is an excellent opportunity to reshape the appearance of many of your flowerbeds.


A light pruning will be ideal for evergreens, and you should remove dead and damaged branches. If you want to cut hard, wait until spring so they have a chance to bounce back in the warmer weather.

Remember that the City Of Calgary encourages composting your yard waste:

Put all yard waste into your green cart for composting, including:

  • Leaves
  • Cones (all conifers - pine, spruce, etc.)
  • Plants and flowers
  • Branches, twigs, hedge prunings - must be less than 15 centimetres in diameter and 1.25 metres in length to fit in the green cart
  • Grass clippings, sod
  • Untreated mulch (including coloured/dyed)
  • Hay
  • Pine needles
  • Tree fruits like crab apples
  • Rhubarb leaves
  • Tree trimmings
  • Moss
  • Special instructions

    Fill your green cart first. If your green cart is full:

    • Place yard waste in paper yard waste bags. Make sure bags are rolled up and can be easily lifted.
    • Set bags at least 0.5 m (2 ft) to the side of your green cart. Do not lean bags on the cart or on top of the cart lid.
    • For larger quantities of yard waste, take to a City landfill for composting. Charges may apply - learn more at​. Note: sod is not accepted for composting at City landfills.​

How to compost yard and garden waste (


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