Gardening Tips for Winter
Just because the temperatures have dropped and the sun is down by the time you get off work doesn’t mean you need to completely abandon your garden for the season. Depending on where you live, there is still plenty you can do to keep reaping the benefits of gardening well into the winter months. Here are some tips to using your green thumb all throughout the year.
Understand Your Environment
It’s important to know what zone you live in as this will effect the depth of the frost line and the date of the first expected freeze. Though we all know there is a big difference between weather in Arizona and Michigan, fewer know that subtle differences within even a state-wide region can change how plants need to be managed throughout the seasons. If you aren’t sure what zone you are in and how that effects your planting, look it up online. There are plenty of helpful maps that can pinpoint your exact zone.
Go Heavy on Mulching
Most gardeners know that mulching is valuable for weed control and to make their garden look orderly and attractive. However, it can also keep the ground moist and warm and will help protect roots and bulbs from damaging frost. Mulch can also help provide a warm environment for helpful wildlife that you want to encourage to spend time in your garden during the cold months.
Pick Veggies That Grow Best in Cold Temps
Though there are some fruits and veggies that just can’t stand the colder months, there are some that actually grow better when the temps drop. Cold-season veggies include cabbage, peas, Brussels sprouts, spinach, kale, broccoli and cauliflower. You can also grow root veggies like radishes, carrots, turnips and beets. These veggies are always great in a hearty stew or in some cold-weather soups to warm up your family!
Work on Weed Control
Weeds may not grow as heartily during the winter as they did during the fertile spring and summer months, but they’ll still crop up and it’s a mistake to ignore them until next season. Pull weeds as soon as they appear so they aren’t allowed to germinate. If the weather is warm enough when weeds sprout, you can also till them. The important thing is to keep maintaining your garden throughout every season even if you aren’t actively growing anything at the time.
Start an Indoor Herb Garden
Feeling the winter blues because you can’t be out in your garden? Try starting an indoor herb garden in your kitchen window sill or another warm, sunny location. You can grow cilantro, dill, basil, and other fragrant herbs that look beautiful and can be used to add flavor and interest to many of your holiday dishes. There are tons of adorable planters for indoor herb gardens available and you can transfer them outdoors once the spring arrives if you want to expand your herb-growing endeavors.
Don’t let your gardening habits fall away during the winter months. Make sure you know what environment you live in and best practices for how and what to grow and you’ll be able to maintain your hobby year-round.