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28 June 2015

How To Prepare Your Garden For Winter

Have you noticed the bare branches of trees that have shed their leaves for winter? The cold weather brings with it a number of challenges for your garden. Though a lot of us choose to let our gardens die off during winter, there are some simple steps to maintain a healthy and productive garden through the year’s cold period. If you want to keep a pleasant-looking patch or to make sure that there are home-grown vegetables available during the off-season, there are plenty of things you can be doing for your winter garden.

Keep the Garden Alive.

Winter doesn’t mean your garden has to hibernate. Relocate plants that cannot survive extremely cold temperatures. Bring them inside or put them under cover. If you have a greenhouse, move them there. Now, don’t leave the bed empty for the whole winter season because it’s going to make it harder for you to grow plants next spring. Planting cover crops is a good way to keep the soil healthy because once they decompose they return nutrients to the soil. They also prevent soil from eroding when there are heavy rains and prevent it from compacting with cold weather. Buckwheat, crimson clover and fall rye are some of the best options for use as cover crops.

There are plenty of vegetables that can withstand harsh frosts such as those from the brassica family. Consider planting broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, kale and spinach. These plants have the added benefit of releasing compounds that deter pests.

Do Some Cleaning Up.

Spend your spare winter gardening time tidying up your crops. Rake away dried leaves and pull out weeds and dead plants. Put your green waste into a compost pile. If a plant shows signs of a disease, do not put it the compost bin as it can infect other plants. Weeds can be composted as long as they haven’t gone to seed and have been dried out.

Not all plant containers are designed for bitter winters. The extreme temperature may cause them to crack and this can damage the plants that are in them. To avoid this, store them indoors or wrap them up with several layers of plastic.

Prepare the Bed

Till the soil in order to prevent compacting and remove hidden weeds while you’re at it. Spread compost over the flowerbed a week or two before the coldest months of winter arrive. Put mulch around your plants. This will prevent their roots from being frost damaged and will help the plants conserve moisture.

Spring Flower Fever

You would be delighted to see exuberant colors blossom in your garden as the temperature begins to rise. Winter is the ideal time to plant flower-bearing hardy plants like crocuses, daffodils, hyacinths and tulips. Although they remain dormant for the season, it’s important to remember to water them so the flowers can emerge in spring. Once-a-week deep watering is advised.

Evergreen azaleas are great to plant because they establish foundations during autumn and winter and bloom with very well during spring and summer. Perennials like asters, chrysanthemum and sedum can keep your bed interesting during the cold season and pleasurable to look at when spring arrives.

Gardening Tool Care

Now that the last square foot of soil has been turned over and the last dried leaf has been raked, it’s time to store the gardening tools properly. Don’t simply throw them in the shed without cleaning them first. Pests and microorganisms clinging on dirty tools can infect your plants when you use them again next spring in you’re not careful.

Taskforce has gardeners available any time of the year. Winter gardening can be difficult, but the effort you put in during the cold months will make the biggest difference to your garden in spring and summer. Find somebody to help out with your garden over winter by called Taskforce on 13TASK.