A Guide To Winter Planting
Posted by Niels Madsen on
Winter has already descended upon us, and with that comes one of the most difficult times of the year for keen gardeners. The frost, snow, and shorter days all combine to make planting and growing a daunting task. The key to a successful winter garden is to plan and prepare properly — but it’s still not too late to make the most of your garden this winter if you haven’t.
We’re going to look at some of the ways you can help cultivate a year-round garden that thrives in winter, how to make the most of the winter period to lay the foundation for the next planting season, and some of the best plants and vegetables to plant next year for a bountiful winter harvest.
Keeping Your Garden Going All Year Round
Many gardeners rely on the cyclical planting seasons — but we see this as a missed opportunity, with the right planning and knowledge your garden can easily be an all-year-round endeavour.
Get Creative With Your Space
Creating a thriving year-around garden is something that can be achieved anywhere — as long as you can find creative ways to work around any space constraints. For example, a community allotment garden can be especially useful in the winter, by sharing carefully selected seeds and pooling together knowledge and resources. Alternatively, there are a number of ways for an all-year garden to take advantage of urban spaces, including :
- Rooftop, Balcony, and Patio Containers
- Window Boxes
- Walkaway Borders
- Wall Trellises
The foundation of any successful year-round garden is maintaining healthy soil, while ensuring it has the right characteristics for the plants and vegetables you’re looking to grow. The best way to monitor this is by doing your very own DIY soil test. This will help you to figure out if your soil is acidic, alkaline, sandy, or compacted.
If you need to make natural adjustments, there are a number of great amendments that can help boost the health of your soil, such as compost, coffee grounds, and eggshells.
Being able to maintain a healthy year-round garden — especially in the winter — means being able to survive all manner of climates and weather extremes. One of the best ways to do this is by creating microclimates within your garden. This can be done using simple elements such as raised beds, terraces, and wind buffers.
One especially effective trick for winter gardens has its roots in 19th century Paris, where Parisian market gardeners would construct covered raised beds that used manure, buried under a thick layer of dirt, and topped with glass cloches. These ‘hot beds’ have now been adopted by modern gardeners and are an effective way to keep plants at their comfortable temperature.
That being said, the best way to protect your garden from the elements is to remove them from the equation entirely. This can be achieved through building and maintaining your very own greenhouse. Greenhouses can come in a wide range of styles and sizes, and with a number of additional benefits! A greenhouse won’t just help you grow vegetables and plants through the winter, it can also allow you the chance to experiment with a wide range of plants and vegetables that wouldn’t otherwise be available.
Winter Garden Tasks And Prep
Even if you aren’t planning on growing anything through the winter—that doesn’t mean you can simply leave your garden unattended. The winter period is a vital time when it comes to laying the foundation for next year’s seasonal growing. Here are some of the most essential winter gardening tips and tasks.
Spring Cleaning In Winter
Maintaining a clean and orderly garden is vital for successful growth, something that is important even in the winter months. This includes a number of small but incredibly helpful items, such as raking over the last of the fallen leaves and making sure to clean your bird feeders.
In terms of lawn care, fall is easily the most important application — but that doesn’t mean you should worry if you missed it. Applying fertilizer in winter will also ensure that your lawn will be green and strong in the spring.
It isn’t just your lawn that needs looking after throughout the winter — if you have trees in your garden they should also be attended to. The treatment you apply will depend on the types of trees you keep. If you have fruit trees we’d suggest wrapping them in a plastic spiral.
For evergreens and cedars, you should wrap them in burlap to help protect them from winds and the harsh winter weather. And, no matter what type of tree you have — don’t forget to prune them through the winter. You can even use some of the offcuts as decorations!
Cold Tolerant Growing
When it comes to winter gardening for next year, the best time to plant most of your vegetables will be between June and October. Luckily, there is a wide range of cold-tolerant vegetables you can choose from. This includes staples such as:
And lesser-known greens such as:
However, if you want your garden to be truly in bloom you also need to be aware of some of the most appealing cold-tolerant flowers. This includes:
- Red Twig Dogwood
- Lily Of The Valley
Having a well-maintained garden is a great way to make your property more appealing when it comes to selling — but to take advantage of that you need a realtor with the right skills and knowledge. To find out how we can deliver that for you, contact us today.