Abilene gardner offers helpful tips for keeping your yard healthy this winter


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – After a particularly harsh winter, this year Big Country homeowners are preparing their yards a little sooner to last through the upcoming cold season.

Martin Jensen, a gardener at Mankin and Sons Gardens, has been gardening since he was a young boy.

The 74-year old Avoca native grew up on the farm, surviving the winter months on what his family grew during the summer.

“Anywhere from corn to black-eyed peas, to squash to okra, we grew it all,” Jensen said.

He spent his early years on his family’s farm, then left for Waco, where he got his degree in accounting and started a 30 year career in the business world.

However, he knew he wanted to come back home.

Jensen moved back to Abilene, and has been “playing in the dirt” ever since.

Now, he is sharing some of his gardening expertise to help prepare our lawns for the upcoming winter.

Jensen said that for hedges and flower beds, be sure to get a good layer of mulch down. He said that it acts like insulation for the roots, and will retain moisture throughout the winter.

For trees, he said be sure to leave the grass a little taller than usual when mowing. Much like the hedges and flowers, it keeps the tree and grass roots from freezing.

Applying a winterizer fertilizer to your yard will also help keep your grass healthy and weed free throughout the next few months, and he recommends beginning that process now.

Jensen said that the most important thing to remember, though, is to continue watering your plants, trees and hedges throughout the cold season.

“Only once a week, you do no need to do it any more than that,” Jensen said. “You will have a much better chance of getting through the winter without damage.”

Lastly, he suggests that if you want to remove dead limbs on trees or hedges, it is best to wait until mid-January or February when they are completely dormant.

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