Preparing Your Garden for Winter

As much as we love it to be spring or summer all year round, Winter will come. And while we have no control over it, we can always prepare our garden for the coming season.  Fortunately, we can work with it, and not against it.

Winter is a season where gardening becomes more challenging. If you’re new to gardening, note that there are certain gardening techniques that experienced gardeners use at this particular season. While it is a common fact that certain types of plants grow better and thrive during winter, it takes more than just knowing which plants to use, but also how to prepare your garden for each season.

How do you prepare your garden for winter?

It depends on how much easier you want things rolling for your garden when spring comes. Well, who wants to deal with a lot of gardening stuff come spring, when you can already eliminate them during winter?

So here are some of the ways you can prepare your garden for winter:

  1. Clear your garden of diseased plants.

 

Not only does this make your garden dirty or unpleasing to the eye, but this can also cause disease, fungus and other things that might contaminate the rest of your garden. A study from the University of Colorado says that insect pests that fed on your plants during summer may have laid eggs on the plant’s stalks and leaves. Removing dead plants from your garden will be one step ahead of pests ruining your garden in the spring.

However, as long as plants are disease-free, they contribute to the organic matter that make your garden healthy, and provide cover and a source of food for beneficial insects and small animals and birds.

   2. Get rid of weeds that may invade your garden over the growing season.

Many invasive weeds are perennials, and will still survive and regrow next year. Rip them out (including roots) and throw the non-seed parts in your compost bin.

 

 

  1. Plant cover crops

What are cover crops? Cover crops are crops grown to manage soil erosion and to keep the soil’s quality like fertility and richness.

Winter is a time where you might want to plant cover crops. These crops also add nutrients to your soil.  Legumes such as field peas can increase the nitrogen levels for garden vegetables. The general guideline says that one month before winter is the best time to plant cover crops. Check with your local seed provider for the best cover crop for your area.

   4. Plant bulbs

 

Other flowering bulbs like lilies bloom late. After 3-4 weeks, dig them up and divide the plants that are crowded. Dig 4-8 inches away from the growing stalk and loosen the soil carefully. Gently lift bulbs and separate bublets ready for transplanting elsewhere. 

  1. Clean and sharpen your tools.

 

Cate's Garden Ratchet Pruners

While it is general knowledge that you must keep your tools well-oiled always, it’s challenging to do this when gardening season is in full swing. Fall is the great season to do that, giving your loyal tools’ lifespan a boost.

Wash them thoroughly to get rid of dirt and debris. Sharpen what needs to be sharpened like hoes and shovels using a mill file. Whetstone works well for pruners. Don’t forget to rub on some light machine oil. This helps in protecting the metal from rust. 

These are only a few of how you can prepare your garden for the coming winter. There are many others that you can do to prepare your garden for the winter, but these are important to note. Gardening is an enjoyable activity and weather should not hinder you from doing what you love to do. With the proper knowledge and tools, your garden will be your piece of heaven on earth.

Check out Cate’s Garden collection of high-quality gardening tools here.




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