SOUTHPORT, N.Y. (WETM) – It’s finally the time of year to start getting your garden ready for winter.

As the nights get colder and colder, Charlie Todd of Chamberlain Acres says that the most important thing is to cover your garden at night. However, it’s crucial to use a cloth material to cover the plants.

“If you use plastic for whatever reason, the cold will literally burn the plant and destroy it,” he said.

If you can’t get your garden bed covered before a freezing night, you may be able to salvage the plants by going out very early in the morning and spraying the plants with water will help protect them when the sun starts to heat up the ice. It should prevent much of the damage, keeping the ice and the frozen plant cells from expanding and destroying the leaves.

Now is also the time to trim back perennials. It will help signal to them that winter is on the way. Bulbous flowers should get hit by a hard frost before you pull them out.

However, woody plants shouldn’t be cut back as much. With a woody plant, cutting it back to the base essentially opens a wound that will rot if there’s a particularly wet winter.

And with everything trying to go to sleep for the cold months ahead, it’s also important not to keep fertilizing, even your indoor plants, Todd said. Plus, the plants are adapted to lower light levels in the winter.