Winter might not seem like the best time to get out and dirty in your garden, but there are still plenty of plants you can grow and lots you can do to help get it ready for the seasons ahead. Today I wanted to share my top 5 Winter gardening tips, and I’d love to hear what you’re doing in your garden at the moment as well!
1. Plant Cold Weather Veggies
Just because it’s cold out doesn’t mean you can’t still be growing some delicious veggies. Winter greens like kale, spinach, lettuces and cabbages are all perfect to grow, as are broad beans, onions, peas, parsnip, radish and artichokes. Lots of herbs still grow happily in winter as well, including dill, mint, rosemary, sage, marjoram and thyme. See, plenty of tasty homegrown veggies and herbs to keep you going!
2. Refresh Your Soil
By Winter your soil is most likely depleted of lots of key nutrients after all the delicious veggies & herbs it has been producing over the preceding months, so it’s the perfect time to refresh it and get it ready for Spring. Remove all the weeds that have established themselves, then shovel in compost, peat moss, manure and some organic blood & bone to your soil to really build up the nutrients and improve its water holding ability. Come Spring you’ll find any new plants you add to your garden will be much healthier and happier, and as a result grow more produce. Perfect!
3. Get Your Pruning Done
Winter is an excellent time to prune back plants like roses, deciduous trees and vines, once they have finished flowering or have lost their leaves. Removing branches that are dead, are growing outside of the plants natural shape or crowding the plant will result in much healthier new growth come Spring, leaving you with a happier plant. Check out this website for more info. Be wary of frosts though, if your plant hasn’t had a chance to recover from the pruning a severe frost can damage the new growth, so if you’re in a particularly cold climate hold off until later in the season. Spring is the best time to call an Atlanta tree professional to trim or prune the trees.
4. Change Your Watering Style
As the sun won’t be evaporating water as much as it does in Summer, you need to water a whole lot less in Winter to ensure you don’t end up with waterlogged soil. You can usually get away with about half as much watering (although this will also be influenced by how much rain you get!) and you want to do your watering in the morning rather than the evening. This allows the plant and soil to dry off before the cold air of the evening hits, reducing the chance of fungal diseases developing on the plant or in the soil.
You should also add a splash of warm water to your watering can to take the chill off the tap water to avoid the water shocking the roots of the plant, helping to keep them strong and healthy.
5. Introduce Some Colour
Lucky for us Winter is an excellent time to introduce some colour to your garden, particularly by planting annuals in pots. Pansies and polyanthus are excellent choices as they come in an array of bright colours, flower in no time and are more than happy to grow in light-shade areas. They do best with a little liquid plant food every few weeks (I use the diluted liquid from my bokashi bucket) and a de-head of the flowers when necessary, but that’s about all you’ll need to do to keep them happy!