Winter gardening

10-01-2013
Winter gardening

The winter season holds no hope of producing a garden full of healthy plants, right? Wrong! There are several things you can do to extend the period of time during which you can plant a successful garden. The winter even provides some benefits such as natural pest control, which help your garden reach its maximum potential. In addition, by carefully choosing plants that are durable and frost-resistant you can ensure that they will survive through some undesirable conditions and be ready for harvest in the late fall or even mid-winter.

It’s probably a good idea to sit down and start planning out all of the aspects of your garden on paper, to provide you with a solid blueprint you can reference when it comes time to purchase supplies and start doing the dirty work. The types of plants you choose to grow will affect most of the other decisions you will need to make about your garden, so it is advisable to take care of the first. There are many types of vegetables that will suit your needs for a winter garden. Some of the more popular ones include lettuce, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, onions, spinach and turnips. All of these vegetables have been known to be frost-resistant, and therefore make perfect candidates for the garden.

Once you’ve decided what types of plants you want head over to the local nursery or garden center to purchase some seed packets of the vegetables you want to grow. Make sure to take a look at the number of days required for them to mature. The information is usually found on the packet itself. Once you’ve got the number of days simply backtrack from the projected date for your region’s first frost, and plant the seeds. Your garden should already be prepared for its new inhabitants that mean replacing the nutrient-depleted soil from your spring garden if necessary. Soil drainage must be excellent in the wintertime. If the water cannot pass through the soil, it will freeze and damage your plant’s roots. If you are concerned about drainage in your garden, adding sand can improve the situation.

When planting the seeds, make sure you are giving the plants more room than you would normally. This will improve air circulation and ensure that fungus and mildew won’t be taking advantage of any dark, damp places you’ve unintentionally created by sticking your plants to close to each other.

Successful gardening in the winter is all about planning and protection. If you’ve chosen plants that are durable and frost-resistant, you’ve already got an advantage. By carefully planning out your garden, you can improve air circulation and prevent harmful fungus or other pests from finding a home with your plants. Basic protective layers will help your plants survive unusually cold, frosty nights. Follow these basic guidelines and you should be able to enjoy your garden all year around!

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