We all know that winter is the time for hibernation, but it’s also a great time to get some gardening tasks done outside. With all the precipitation and cold weather, you may be thinking about giving up on your garden for the season, and this is understandable. However, there are many tasks that can be done in winter to prepare your garden for a healthy spring.
This article discusses how to manage and protect your garden during this time of year. Below are seven tasks you can easily carry out in your garden this coming winter.
1. Hunt Gardening Ideas for the Next Season
At the start of the winter, the growing season will probably have come to an end for most plants. At the very least, most of the plants in your garden will be dormant. This is practically the best time of the year to assess how your garden performed for the year and look for garden ideas that will help you scheme out a better plan for the next growing season.
Go through your journal and photos (if you took any) to see which plants might need to be replaced, moved, or done away with. Search the internet to find inspiration on ways to improve soil quality, combat pests, implement new watering solutions, and so forth.
Whether you’re looking to have a garden full of flowers, vegetables, or trees, this task will come in handy in preparing your garden for a successful and fruitful growing season.
2. Remove Dead Plants, Weeds, and Leaves From Around Your Garden
Winter can be the perfect time to tidy up your garden in preparation for a healthy spring. Remove weeds, foliage, dead plants, and other unwanted vegetation in your garden and discard it appropriately to keep things tidy. Besides helping to reduce the soil compaction around your garden, you will also avoid spending much time or effort removing all that junk once spring rolls around.
3. Protect Branches with String
Due to the impact of frost and snow, some of the existing plants in your garden may suffer damage to the stems and branches. In many cases, it’s good to avoid cutting off any old or damaged branches. You can instead protect them by wrapping them in string. This will help to keep them from breaking off completely or suffering further damage.
4. Do Some Pruning
There will be days in the future when you’ll find yourself with a healthy-looking garden. However, before that time arrives, you can go ahead and do a little pruning to the plants still growing during this season. It’s one of the most important garden care tasks, so go ahead and prune off dead and weak parts of the plants, trim off diseased branches, and remove the remaining foliage.
As a matter of fact, winter pruning can have several benefits. For instance, fewer leaves and canopy enhance accessibility to your garden. It also reduces the chances of damage to other plants due to crowding or overgrowth. Nicely pruned plants will also leave your garden looking more appealing in winter.
Nonetheless, it’s advisable to avoid pruning your plants too early in winter. This is because when the temperatures take a dip below freezing point, the incisions could dry out.
5. Lift Bulbs and Store Them in a Frost-Free Shed or Basement
Winter is also the time to start pre-ordering seeds, bulbs, and plants in preparation for spring planting. However, it is essential to store them appropriately in this season, making sure they are protected from damage by moisture and frost. If you already have a few of them stocked in containers, make sure to assess them occasionally.
It’s even safer to keep them away in a frost-free, moisture-tight container in your shed or basement. For bulbs and tubers that show any signs of moisture or mold infestation, like moldy roots, discard them as soon as possible to avoid damaging the entire stack.
6. Consider Adding a New Garden Bed or Feature
Do you have a vacant corner of your garden that you could transform into a new gardening area? If so, winter can be the perfect time to do so because you’ll probably have fewer gardening tasks to tend to. You could build one from wood and even incorporate things like decorative stones, gravel, rocks, or styled logs into the garden bed.
While a new feature – like a water element can go a long way in decorating your small garden, adding a new raised garden bed is a great way to expand your growing space. Your new garden bed can be the perfect spot for smaller annual plants, bulbs, or containers of cuttings until spring when you can put them into your garden.
Raised garden beds
Raised garden beds are easy to build and can be placed almost anywhere in your yard. You can also find raised garden bed kits at most home improvement stores, or you can build your own using lumber and soil.
Before you add a raised garden bed to your yard, make sure to choose a location that gets plenty of sunlight and has good drainage. Once you have your raised garden bed in place, fill it with a high-quality garden soil mix and add your favorite plants. Water your new garden bed regularly and soon you will have a beautiful and productive garden space.
7. Service Your Gardening Tools
Winter can also be a great time to sharpen your gardening tools, from shovels to mower blades, pruners, sheers, and more. As you might know, oiling your gardening tools will help prevent them from rusting and going blunt, so they’re ready to get to work when spring comes. You can use steel wool to remove rust from any of these handy tools before sharpening and oiling them.
Also, ensure your storage space for these tools is free from moisture so they stay in tip-top condition.
Whether you’re just missing the outdoors or can’t resist the urge to exercise your green thumb, there are so many tasks you can do in your garden in winter. On top of the ones mentioned above, you could also check and reapply mulch to sensitive plants where necessary, create new garden paths, or even apply bug repellants.