While it can be hard to imagine your frozen, snow-covered backyard in full bloom, springtime will come soon enough. There are several essential steps to take in your garden in the winter months, so it will be in optimal condition once the spring planting season comes around. Read on to learn the gardening steps to take every winter to ensure you have a beautiful, lush spring garden.
Early Winter Gardening Tips
The below steps are ideally completed in the fall or before the first freeze. However, it’s better to tackle them later than never.
- Remove dead or diseased parts of the plants to prevent further decay, prevent pests from staying around and encourage new growth once spring comes.
- If the soil isn’t frozen, test the PH to determine if you need to amend the soil with acidifying or alkaline-building materials. Limestone additives will help neutralize acidic soil while adding compost will help if the soil is too alkaline. Since the soil can take some time to adjust, beginning in the winter is a great time to start.
- Cover cold-sensitive plants with mulch or plant cones.
- Take inventory of garden tools and equipment. Ensure all your tools are clean and organized and take your existing tools to be repaired or replaced.
- Be prepared for freezes. Even areas with warmer climates can experience a few nights of frost. Ensure your irrigation system is drained and turned off before the first frost to prevent extensive damage. Also, remove the hose from the spigot, which can cause damage to your home’s internal pipes. Stock up on garden tarps to cover any plants that need additional protection against the cold.
- Use this time to plan for spring. Whether you meet with your landscape architect or your gardener, use the extra time to plan the next phase of your garden and purchase the equipment and structure you need.
Mid-Winter Gardening Tips
As the winter gets colder, you may need to take additional steps to ensure your garden will thrive in the spring.
- If it’s an extra cold and snowy winter, your plants may need some additional protection. An extra layer of mulch can go a long way in keeping the plants alive.
- Once winter sets in and the trees and grounds are bare, walk your property to assess the plants that are dying, if there are areas of erosion or root damage to the walls, pathways or other hardscaping. You can use this time to meet with landscaping firms to develop a solution before the spring.
Late Winter Gardening Tips
During the late winter, when spring is just around the corner, you can consider planting some of the hardier plants. This is also a time to finalize landscaping and landscape architectural plans, so your contractors can begin once their season starts.
- Plant hardy plants indoors so you can transfer them to the ground once the ground thaws in early spring.
Ensuring you maintain your garden during the winter months will make you feel like you’re ahead of the game when the spring gardening season rolls around.