6 Winter Gardening Tasks
During the late fall is the time to perform some tasks in your gardens to prepare for winter. Today I present you with 6 gardening tasks you should take care of to be ready for next year.
If your plans for the garden do not include cool-season vegetables, then it’s the time of the year when you should clean up your garden. Between the growing season and all of the foliage from autumn, you are likely to have quite a bit of junk in your garden. You will want to clean out the beds of any dead plants, weeds, twigs, leaves, etc. It’s also a good idea to lay down 4-6 inches of mulching material. Next spring, all you will have to do is remove the mulch and you are ready to start your gardening season.
Prepare your seeds
For any seeds you want to keep for next year, you will need to store them correctly. Generally speaking, seeds like to be cool and dry when in storage. Heat and moisture will shorten the lifespan of your seeds. I tend to keep mine in their packets or wrapped up with a paper towel. I then store the packet in a mason jars with tight fitting lids to seal out moisture. In order to keep the seeds dry in the jar, I also throw in a packet of a silica gel desiccant. These are the little packets that you find in medicine bottles and other things. Since these little packets’ whole purpose is absorbing moisture, they are perfect for keeping your seeds dry.
Chill your bulbs
Certain bulbs such as hyacinths and tulips often benefit from being chilled before planting. If you take your bulbs and put them in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator, then you will be ready to plant them at the end of December or the start of January. Just be sure to keep your bulbs in a separate bin than your other produce. Fruits are known to produce certain gasses that can affect the growing behavior of your bulbs. Be sure to check on them periodically to catch any issues such as rotting.
Prepare for your Winter
Winter is coming. In many parts of the country, temperatures are already dipping below freezing and some places may even have snow. If you are in a warmer climate, then simply covering your plants when the weather drops below freezing may be enough. Once the temperatures rise the next day, be sure to uncover them. In other locations, this simply is not an option due to the harsh winters they have. For colder climates, you may want to look into bringing some of your plants inside. Understanding the USDA zones is a good start in determining how you should handle your specific winter.
Don’t forget your Compost!
Just because its cold weather doesn’t mean that your compost pile should be forgotten! If composting correctly, then it will be active all year round. Your pile will benefit from kitchen scraps, so save them and be sure to mix them evenly into your pile. By keeping up with your composting pile throughout winter, you will have a head start come spring time.
Start Planning for Next Year
It’s never too late to plan. In fact, I plan my gardens pretty much year round. Were there any of your plants that didn’t do so well this year? Do you want to replace them with another plant? Or would you like to create a new gardening bed in the spring? It never hurts to plan ahead and to scope out your spring projects in advance. Currently, I am planning a moon garden that I am super excited about.
By completing these 6 winter gardening tasks, you will on the right path in the spring for a successful gardening season. What do you think of my list? Are there any winter gardening tasks that I missed? Do you have anything to add?
Be sure to hit up the comments section!
If you are interested in other gardening articles, feel free to browse my gardening section.