If you haven’t yet prepared the garden for winter, that’s a wise task for this quiet week at the turn of the year. Though weather is always tricky to predict, January seems likely to bring snow and wilder winds, so this is a good time to catch up on outdoor tasks. Since a hose left full of water can split when it freezes, that’s always a good place to start. There’s nothing like experiencing an unexpected flood when you turn on the tap in spring and discover that your once-solid hose is now a perforated soaker. Oops!
After draining hoses, coil them up and store them in a shed or sheltered spot. Since finding that tiny voles had started a nursery in my favorite hose, I now hang hoses up rather than leaving them on the floor. Wrap hose bibs with waterproof insulation or put on frost-proof covers so they don’t freeze (hose bib replacement is surprisingly expensive). Glazed garden pots full of soil and plants should be safe unless we get extreme cold, but terra cotta can flake when frozen so store them under cover, along with emptied ornamental water jars.
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