As winter rolls in, you will discover yourself in a funk – specially if you’re a gardener with a green thumb. The growing beds are bare, the leaves have fallen from the trees along with the dark skies that roll in a little earlier make you wish for sunnier days. Hold on – even though the summer gardening season is over, doesn’t mean you can’t prepare to get your hands dirty next spring!
Use winter to evaluate (or re-evaluate) your spring gardening goals – set yourself up for success to cultivate your best harvest yet! If you’re new to gardening, we’ve got ideas to help you get started – continue reading to discover the five winter projects to do now to ready your green thumb to have the best spring garden yet.
5 Winter Assignments that Prepare for Your Best Spring Garden Yet
1.Plan In Advance
As spring rolls around, you might just throw some seeds in the ground and see what will happen, however for best results, make use of a garden planner to map out and optimize your growing space. Now comes the fun part! It’s time to order your seed catalog and select what varieties and produce to plant. There are numerous options to pick from and by spring, the grocery store’s produce won’t be able to contend with your homegrown harvest!
2.Weeding, Weeding and even more Weeding
Fall and winter are the best times to weed the garden. The beds are clear of produce and you don’t need to panic about the possibility of accidentally yanking that prize tomato plant out of the ground. Prior to reaching for the Roundup, consider doing your soil a favor by deciding on more natural weed killer options. Once you’ve finished cleaning the beds, fill them with an abundance of mulch-utilizing mulch will not only help to keep the weeds out, however it provides your soil with a host of beneficial nutrients.
3. Show Your Soil Some Love
One of the first things you learn in gardening is that not all soil is alike. Plants can die mainly because the soil doesn’t drain well and it doesn’t hold many nutrients. Winter is an ideal time to test and amend your soil mix. There is a wide range of soil testing kits available on Amazon, however if you really want to take it to the next level, consider having your soil tested at your county’s local extension office or check out this soil testing laboratory database to locate a location near you. After you have an understanding of what your soil needs, get those hands dirty and mix it up. To maintain the quality of your soil, ensure that you do ongoing maintenance such as applying compost, cleaning up dead material, practicing crop rotation and growing cover crops for the winter.
4.Clean ‘Em Up
Don’t just toss your gardening tools in the garage and forget about them, clean them up for storing until the spring. Disinfecting your garden tools is a great way of warding off potential pests and disease and don’t forget to sharpen up any tools that are dull. Nothing is more frustrating than preparing for some pruning or weeding and the tools are too dull-making it challenging to cut and trim. Tools that are sharpened regularly will last longer, too.
5.Cover Up from the Cold
Your garden bed clean-up is completed and now’s the time to protect any winter plants from the coming frost. Consider making an investment in portable cold frames or row covers to keep the warmth in and the cold out. An alternative is to invest in a greenhouse or build your own. You can start your seeds inside and once the last frost is over, you can move them into the ground. This is a way to use for those that live in very cold regions.
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