How Can Gardeners Prepare for a Cold Winter?

 

How Can Gardeners Prepare for a Cold Winter?

With a cold winter on the way for much of the country, novice gardeners need to get ready. Here’s what they can do to prepare gardens for the season.

A scene in the 1979 film Being There features Peter Sellers as Chauncey, a simple-minded gardener who has unwittingly wandered into Washington’s halls of power. He tells a room of presidential advisors: “In the garden, growth has its seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.” The men take this for deep metaphorical wisdomregarding the cyclical fluctuations of the American economy. Unbeknownst to the wise men, Chauncey was just describing gardening.

It was simple wisdom, but correct. Throughout most of the country, winter comes to our gardens and leaves its mark. How can gardeners prepare for a cold winter so that when spring and summer do come back around, gardeners and their plots are ready? We have a few ideas that will keep you busy.

Do Your Pruning
Trimming down stems or branches is an important step in winterization. This isn’t just necessary for the aesthetics of your garden—it also helps plants conserve and better allocate limited energy. Pruning is also a defense against bacterial and fungal infections that can strike plants, as well as harmful parasites that can take advantage of added growth. The less there is for these pests to go after in spring, the better your plants will fare.

Contribute Some Compost
Cold weather and snow cover can leave your soil hungry for nutrients. Feed it with a few inches of compost. If you’ve been making your own with coffee grounds, eggshells, and anything else you’d ordinarily put in the garbage can, even better. A combination of kitchen waste and yard waste can keep your garden well-nourished even through the colder months.

Start Storing Seeds
There’s no rule that says you have to grow the same thing every year. In fact, changing it up from year to year helps to replenish the soil. Now’s the time to start planning what you’ll grow in the spring—it’ll give you something to look forward to on those bleak winter days. If you explore growing heirloom plants rather than more modern hybrid fare, you must use your offseason to make sure you’re storing your heirloom seeds with care. These seeds are valuable and require a little more attention than others.

Check on Your Tools
One of the most important ways that gardeners can prepare for a cold winter is by preventing any unwanted surprises when it comes to rakes, hoes, spades, and anything else in your shed. Cold, moist weather can wreak havoc on the steel in your shed, resulting in rust when you’re ready to get back to work. Move tools indoors to the garage or basement where they’ll be less susceptible to moisture—or replace the ones that are already rusty.


How Can Gardeners Prepare for a Cold Winter? How Can Gardeners Prepare for a Cold Winter? Reviewed by FADED4U on January 03, 2022 Rating: 5

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