While gardening in the winter may seem redundant, there are many things you can do to ensure your garden is in tip-top shape to begin planting and blooming in the spring.
Your garden may be covered in a thick layer of snow, and resemble a frozen wasteland throughout the winter month, but there are some tips you can follow to ensure your actions in the winter enhance your garden in the spring.
While you may not do much physical gardening in the winter, you can ensure that you have rich soil and fertilizer to add to your plant beds once the thaw hit and the ground is ready to be worked. Gardening in its literal sense may stop when the winter hits, but the household waste will continue through the season. Setting up a composting bin, and ensuring you are making the most of your winter waste can prepare a rich additive to enhance your garden when the sun hits the ground and begging to melt the snow. As mentioned on this site, composting is great at any temperature, and the natural process of decomposition creates heat, allowing you to easily turn and agitate your compost, rather than having a solid clump of dirt and waste. The natural properties of decomposition will keep your compost malleable, and give you a way to reduce your household waste.
One of the best tips for winter gardening begins with the planning and planting of your garden. Rather than planting a garden full of annuals, which live and die in a single season, mixing in perennial plants and greenery can ensure you aren’t going to be purchasing and replanting your garden every single year. Not only will this give you a great start to your garden at the beginning of the season, but it can also reduce the costs associated with your dream garden. By saving yourself time and money not replanting every year, you can focus on landscaping and maintenance rather than focusing on paying for and planning a new garden every year. Perennials can range from beautiful flowering plants to tubers, to shrubs. By planting perennials, you will have a preplanned garden ready to bloom once the sun hits in earnest and begging to defrost the ground.
Bulbs And Tubers
Some bulbs can survive in the winter as well, so by researching your plant choice, and opting for minimal maintenance perennials, you can plant once and enjoy the bloom for many years to come. Other bulbs require storage throughout the winter and must be dug up and stored in a cool dry place to avoid mold, rot, and death.
Covering Plant Beds
For certain perennials, it is important to trim them back and cover them with a “jacket” to allow them to hibernate, but protect them from the worst of the frost and snow. It can be incredibly important, especially for first season perennials, to properly protect the plant during its first winter season. You can also wrap trees and shrubbery to keep the snow from directly touching them, making for healthier and happier plants when summer comes.
Preparing The Soil
While many people don’t do much for their gardens near the end of the season, it is very important to prepare your soil for the winter period. Removing dead annual plants before the winter, turning the soil, enhancing it with some fertilizing material can help prepare your soil for winter, allowing it to be nutrient-rich and ready to plant when the season begins.
Weeding In The Fall
While it may seem easier to leave dead plants and weeds to be killed off during the winter, ensuring a clean, fresh, and weeded garden in the fall will make your job easier come spring. It is also much easier to pull weeds when they are strong and attached to mature roots, rather than trying to clear brittle and dead weeds. Some can be regrown in the spring if you have left roots in the soil. By preparing the soil in the fall, you can prevent weeds from taking over and regrowing in the spring.
While these suggestions are not necessarily ongoing throughout the winter, it is incredibly important to ensure you set up your garden in the fall, for success in the spring. Putting in some extra work before the snow flies can reduce your workload throughout the spring. Composting throughout the winter can provide you with solid nutritional supplements to feed your garden throughout the living seasons. And it never hurts to check on your plants throughout the winter, maintaining their wrappings, avoiding shoveling onto the plant beds directly. A little bit of extra work and caution throughout fall and winter can make your spring gardening a happy and healthy experience.