Dos And Don’ts Of Gardening In Winter

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Winter Garden
winter, park, snow @ Pixabay

For many, gardening is not just an activity. It is a passion that they nurture over some time. So much so that such people refuse to sit idle during winters as well. They want their gardening practice to be in full swing during the cold weather as well. 

Due to lack of resources and help, however, they have to restrict their actions during that time. If you are also facing this problem, you need not worry anymore. We are sharing Dos and don’ts of gardening that you must practice in the winter season. 

This should clear all your doubts and help you resume your gardening in the chilly season too.

Dos for trees in winter

  1. Experts say that early winter remains an excellent time to plant new trees. However, you will have to start at least six weeks before the ground begins to freeze. If you want to optimize the survival chance of these saplings, water them regularly. 

If there is no or very little snowfall in your area, regular watering is a must. You may use soil conditioners to provide your soil with the nourishment it requires during such weather.

  1. You should spread a 2- to 3-inch or 5 to 7.6 cm of mulch around the base of the trees. This will act as a protection for the roots. With frost and snow coming, the new roots will be able to survive and thrive.
  1. Winter is also a perfect time to trim down any deciduous trees. As the leaves fall down, you can easily see the branches. 

Sometimes an ice storm damages these branches. If that happens, quickly cut the damaged branches. Also, keep picking up any fallen debris so that you do not have over-cleaning to do in spring.

Some other dos and don’ts for winter

Now we will share some dos and don’ts that apply to all bushes, shrubs, and all kinds of plants. Apply these during the winters, and your garden will remain fresh all year long.

  • Do pick up any fallen leaves as and when you have time. If there is a thick mat of leaves on the ground, it can harbor fungal growth. Plus, the presence of leaves will restrict the growth of grass and smother it completely. Make this a regular activity.
  • Don’t allow the perennial weeds to over winter in your flower beds. If you do not remove them, their roots will continue to establish themselves. Once that happens, it will be challenging for you to take them out in the spring season. 
  • Do make sure to deadhead flowers. Especially if you have any flowers that have invasive tendencies, then make sure to remove them. Seeds that you acquire from flowers can be left there themselves. You can use these seeds later on as winter food for the birds.
  • Don’t trim the shrubs during the winter months. Most likely, they will not attain the growth you want later on. Also, fertilizing the garden during the winter months should be avoided entirely.  Fertilizing during this time can stimulate premature growth. It can cause undue damage to your plant, something which you would not want.
  • Do wrap the trees and shrubs that are located close to the roads. This will keep them protected from the dipping temperatures and the salt spray. In winters, you will also face the problem of rodents eating the trunk of your trees. You should try wrapping the trunk so that the rodents stay away.
  • Don’t let your irrigation systems freeze during the winter season. This is a widespread problem, and often people do not know how to deal with it. Thankfully all the manufacturers provide information on how to tackle this challenge. Purge and winterize your sprinklers before things go out of your control. 
  • Do the cleaning of your vegetable garden regularly. Winters are when you will find loads of diseased or pest-infected vegetation flourishing in your garden. Before you know, they may just finish your garden. By eliminating them frequently, you can ensure that the rest of the garden is saved.
  • Don’t leave your container plants outside without any protection. If you do so, the sleet and snow might completely ruin them. You can move them close to the foundation of the ground. Burying them in the garden is also a viable idea. 

A heat retentive blanket is also suitable, and you can wrap it around the planter. Lastly, you could move the planters into the garage if nothing works.

  • Don’t prune the shrubs during the winter season. Wait to do so until the spring when the danger of frost is completely gone. You can also prune the shrubs in advance by August. This gives the shrubs enough time to harden before the chill starts coming in.
  • Do check that you are planting suitable varieties in winters. Fall lettuce varieties can go into December in certain areas which have mild winters. Some winter-prone types are Four seasons lettuce, Arctic King, and the North Pole. 
  • Don’t spray weed killers during winters. Read the instructions of your weed killer carefully. You will find that most weed killers work only at temperatures above 50 °F. So, if you spray them in the winters, they are mainly ineffective. 

Plus, most of the plants stop growing as temperatures fall. Even if you spray a weed killer, it will be of no use. You can spray the weed killer at the beginning of the fall. The temperatures at that time would be ranging around 60 °F, and the plants show a steady growth too.

Conclusion

Taking care of your plants during winter requires extra work. A lot of your hard effort goes wasted due to the severe weather conditions. Follow the above tips to ensure your garden remains in the best shape.

At any point, do not leave your plants without any protection if you know a snowstorm is coming. Shift the planters to a safe location and cover the rest to protect them. With these simple steps, your garden will shine and be prepared for the spring season to bring fresh growth.

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