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10 Essential Winter Gardening Tips

Novice gardeners often feel overwhelmed by the amount of information available on gardening. Especially when it comes to seasonal gardening!
There are always a host of questions involved – What soil should you plant your vegetables in? How should you prepare the soil? Is there enough sunshine and water reaching all parts of the plant? We are fortunate because nature is an excellent teacher. What works and what doesn’t will become more apparent as you plant more often. 

Winter gardening can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be a taxing job. There are some simple gardening tips that you can use during winter to make your garden healthy and ready to flourish when spring comes. The right winter gardening tips will help your garden thrive even in the dead of winter. While most plants will not grow well in low temperatures (such as melons, tomatoes, and peppers, for instance), there are so many fruits and vegetables that can handle these lower temperatures. Here are 10 essential winter gardening tips that will help you choose which plants are best for your climate.

  1. Are you unsure about when to trim your trees? Prune spring-flowering shrubs, such as lilacs, and large-flower climbing roses, shortly after the flowers have faded to prevent disease and pest infestations. Autumn is the time when they establish their bloom buds on the previous year’s growth. By pruning them in the autumn or winter, you eliminate the bloom buds for the next spring. 
  2. Another thing to keep in mind is the soil that you are using for your winter garden. Winter requires a different soil from other seasons. You will find that winter vegetables like Bok Choy are very hardy and can grow very well in any kind of soil condition. Some of the other winter vegetables like Brussels sprouts and Brussels leaves will need slightly rocky soil. 
  3. You should also focus on your growing season as well. Most greenhouse owners wait until the last week of winter to plant their plants, which makes it more likely that the plants will grow well and strong through the rest of the growing season. However, by planting early, you can give your greenhouse plants the best chance to get a head start on their growing season.  
  4. One of the most important tips on winter gardening is that you should choose the plants carefully. Winter plants need to be tough, because in their dormant state they are very vulnerable to cold, so choose hardy ones such as clover, lettuce, chicory, kale, red cabbage, sweet potato, fennel, beetroot, cabbage, mustard and bok choy. Avoid using delicate plants and vegetable seeds, such as rhubarb, since they are easily damaged by frost.  
  5. Onions are another crop that will grow successfully during winter if you pick types that are tolerant to cold temperatures. They will grow faster as the days lengthen in late winter, allowing for a late spring harvest. Late August is a good time to sow seedlings in your garden. If temperatures drop below –23°C, cover them with straw mulch or floating row covers. 
  6. When it comes to tomatoes, they mature best at temperatures between 20°C and 25°C. At 29°C, the plants are unable to generate lycopene and carotene, the pigments responsible for the fruit’s red and orange hues. Green fruits will not mature if temperatures persistently fall below 10°C.  
  7. One of the most important winter gardening tips is to protect your plants properly. During the colder months, greenhouses are a wonderful way to heat your garden when there is nowhere else you can heat it up. 
  8. If you would like to grow arugula in the winter, you should try to replant them before the frost hits. Gardeners should sow arugula seeds at least 2 to 3 weeks before the average date of the last frost. Arugula grows best at temperatures between 10° and 18°C.  
  9. Your autumn leaves should not be thrown away. Chop them up and add them to your compost.  Leaves can be mulched over delicate perennials to keep them dormant over the winter after multiple severe frost. 
  10. Some plants respond to the duration of the day by flowering, whereas others do not. To bloom, Chrysanthemums, Poinsettias, Strawberries, and other plants require lengthy nights. For strawberries that blossom and bear fruit between 1°C to 29°C, consider a cultivar that is “day-neutral.” 

If your winter temperatures frequently fall below -4°C, you’ll need to protect your plants from the cold. It’s still possible to cultivate crops that will help you survive through the winter, though. If you have any more questions, or are looking to cut down some garden trees to make way for more sun, get in touch with the friendly team at Proarb