Green-thumbed readers, you're no doubt concerned about what to do with your garden during the winter. In most places, it’s too cold and too wet to tend to it like you’re used to in the warmer months, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still keep it in it's best shape, ready for the new year.
Tending To Your Garden During Winter
While you’ll not be able to see bright flowers spring into life and enjoy that fuzzy feeling of success when you see your spring or summer garden grow, there’s still the chance to tend to it effectively so you can ensure beautiful results once the weather transforms for the better.
Mulch Ado About Nothing
Getting rid of fallen leaves, twigs, and other debris will keep your yard looking as pristine as it can during winter, even when the colors have hidden away for now. You can do this yourself and store the wood waste away for composting and mulching (think leaves, fallen branches and twigs, grass clippings, hay, shredded bark, animal poop, etc.), which you can use in spring, or you can look into professional removal services. Organic mulching is good for the environment (less landfill waste), will help to improve your soil's texture and also provides a ground cover from rain and other elements. Companies like Edrich Lumber, for example, offer specialist help and are highly beneficial for those who don’t have the time or ability to clear their yard and can provide you with advice on how to mulch for spring.
Away For Safe Keeping
After months of caring for your favorite warm-weather friendly plants and flowers, it would be a horrible shame for them to perish because they can’t handle the colder temperatures. To keep them in top condition, you can relocate your most delicate and treasured plants inside.
Ideal places for storing them include sturdy sheds, greenhouses, or conservatories. If you have exotic plants that spend warmer months on your deck or patio, bring them into the bathroom so they can enjoy the steam from the shower (and any natural light your bathroom may provide). Keep their soil moist and consider a humidifier in order to water less often and possibly avoid root rot. For sturdier plants and small trees, wrap the base / pot with towels or blankets. Once the frost lifts, you can return your potted plants to their outside home again.
Science class taught us that water expands in the cold, yeah? On the surface, you might not think this has anything to do with your garden, but knowing where your irrigation lines run and the potential havoc a burst line could wreak is crucial.
If you have an irrigation or sprinkler system on your property, be sure to winterize before the first frost of the year. If you don't have a company that handles your irrigation system, you need to be familiar with how your system works.
Best Laid Plans
Even though you can’t look after your warm-weather garden the way you might want to during the winter, you still have many months to think about how to improve it as soon as the first sun of spring appears!
There's lot of different software programs you can play with to help you with a new and / or improved landscape design come spring. And toward the end of winter, keep an eye out for seed and bulb catalogs and advertisements. Alternatively, check for gardening steals and deals from your local garden centers at the end of the season as well.
Planning a landscape design now will make it easier to prepare your garden later, and even give you a few months of saving money (and purchasing items) for that dream garden.
If your garden is your pride and joy (after the kids, that is!), you'll still want to keep it in the best condition possible in the "off season". Before the ground hardens completely, give your soil one last turn over, adding a bit of compost to the mix. Make sure your tools are clean and sharpened for the upcoming spring season as well.