Can’t contain the itchiness of your green thumb to grow new life in your garden? The dreary winter chill often makes some gardeners much-needed respite from all the groundwork and tending of plants, fruit-bearing trees, and flowery blooms. To prolific green thumbs, however, winter is a season to get creative in your garden. When thinking of satisfying your mood to enjoy the wintry fresh air, these winter gardening tips can be of help.
1. Plant winter-savvy produce in your vegetable garden. Broad beans, broccoli, cabbage, beetroot, garlic, kale, onions, peas, silverbeet, spinach, mizuna, celery, coriander, peas, carrots, and even potatoes can be grown during this time of the year. Root crops, however, must be carefully sown on garden beds to prevent lumping of soil. Do remember to stock up on slug and snail control like the Monterey 704601 Sluggo Snail and Slug Pest Control. These pests can easily munch on your vegetable seedlings.
2. Don’t let frosts wreak havoc to your crops. Place them in portable containers. With this, you can easily move them around to allow catching midday sunshine. Have a cloche or growing tunnel like the Agfabric Heavy Floating Row Cover and Plant Blanket below. Aside from frost, this row cover is great for snow and hail as well as protection from insects and birds during the growing season.
3. Add around 5cm layer of mulch around your plants, when you’re trying to grow seeds. This green mulch from Jonathan Green helps to provide a protective barrier for your plants from the dreary cold spell. It helps to trap moisture and bring in more nitrogen into the soil.
4. Consider feeding plant tonic to your garden produce at least once a month in the winter. Tonics like the Grow More 7436 Jump Start Plant Tonic contain compounds, micronutrients, and vitamins to stimulate faster growth and a strong root system. Like vitamins to the human immune system, these plant tonics allow plants to cope with extreme temperature and strengthen cell walls making them resistant to pests and certain diseases.
5. Winter is the best time to plant deciduous fruit trees such as apples, apricot, peaches, plum, persimmon, nectarine, and so on. This is also the best time to harvest kiwi fruit, mandarins, oranges, lemons, and grapefruit. Strawberries are great to start during winter, too. The idea is to plant with a specially concocted garden mix like the Miracle-Gro Expand ‘N Gro Concentrated Planting Mix to hasten growth and provide added protective barrier from extreme weather conditions. For grown trees and shrubs, make sure to apply layers of mulch around them.
6. When snow and ice crop up on trees and plants, just gently brush them off. Don’t shake as branches can easily break with the frost and cold. When it’s frozen, allow it to melt naturally to prevent damage.
7. Don’t let your flower beds go to waste in the winter. Plant winter-proof blooms like pansies, snapdragon, nemesia, poppies, and viola. New season roses, camellias, gerberas, azaleas, and orchids are also great during wintertime. Pruning those perennials will also be best at this time of the year. Do make sure to shelter those beds with a row cover and apply insect control like the one below from Bayer Advanced Rose & Flower Care, and the likes.
8. A few weeks before winter is the best time to check fences, gates, shades and other structures in your garden. Repairs must be done ahead of the snow and hail to keep your plants protected. Getting rid of weeds, leaves, and moss must also be done at least a week prior to an incoming winter spell. Aside from garden structures, giving sheds, greenhouses and garden tools a good scrub and de-cluttering also work best prior to the onset of the cold and the wet.
9. Winter is the best time to start a compost bin. You can visit a local garden center to ask for wooden pallets and start one on your own. Or you may purchase a Yimby Tumbler Composter, fill it up with leaves and other disposed cuttings. If you already have a bin, giving it a good long stir is only fitting.
10. Don’t forget to water your evergreens. The frozen ground should not be an excuse to keep that watering can sitting in a shed. Evergreens keep those needles even in wintertime and can lose water that way. Water on a weekly basis and not daily though.
These winter gardening tips are but the tip of the iceberg when it comes to satisfying your green thumb. The main contention during the winter season is to protect plants from pests and the cold. At the same time, this is also the best season to organize your gardening plans for the summer ahead.