For those with a green thumb, the colder months can be intimidating. Most plants have a hard time with dropping temperatures. Without the right preparation, they could die before warm air revives them. Still, there are ways to prepare your garden for winter so come spring, you enjoy a full and bountiful harvest. From removing any existing dead plants to reviving and replenishing your soil, these tips will keep your garden thriving even during the chilliest time of the year.
Remove Dead Plants
It might be tempting to throw a cover over your garden after the prime growing season has come and gone. However, before you put your garden to rest for the winter, you’ll need to clean up and remove any dead or diseased plants. While some dead plants might add additional nutrients to the soil, most are claimed by disease or pest populations.
If pests or diseases have taken any dead plants over, it sets the stage for a host of issues when spring rolls around. This is particularly true with vegetable or fruit plants. These can become active hosts for destructive pests while everything else is in hibernation. Before the onset of cold weather, take time to clear out affected plants. Also, ensure to take care of the remaining ones.
Cover Your Garden
Leaving your soil bare is a mistake that can cost you when the first blush of spring creeps over the ground. It can leave your garden exposed to the elements, including frost and snow. It allows weeds and other invasive plants easy access. Planting a cover crop can prevent soil erosion during the winter and add much-needed nutrients to your garden. A cover crop such as rye or clover helps to keep your soil productive.
If you can’t plant a cover crop, either because you’re out of time or it simply isn’t possible this year, you should still plan to cover your garden with something. Many gardeners opt for a large tarp or even a thick shield of leaves or hay. Whatever you choose, ensure that your plants are adequately covered and protected from frost and ice.
Replenish the Garden’s Mulch
Mulching doesn’t lose its benefits in winter. In fact, mulching your garden prior to the onset of cold weather can protect it and keep the ground healthy all season long. Mulch inhibits weed growth and helps regulate soil temperatures, which makes your garden less prone to hard freezes. Additionally, as the mulch breaks down into material, it provides more nutrients to the plants.
If you aren’t sure what kind of mulch would be best for your garden, ask your local garden center for advice. Depending on the type of garden and the plants you’re cultivating, certain types of mulch might be more beneficial.
Visit Clarks Ace Hardware for Custom Gardening Advice and Equipment
Winter is commonly thought of as the time when gardens are left to their own devices. They often struggle to make it through a difficult season before a rebirth in the spring. However, with a few thoughtful steps and some slight preparation, your garden will be healthy and perfectly poised for spring.
Whether you’re looking for guidance on establishing your first garden or need the latest tools and recommendations for your space, Clarks Ace Hardware can help. As your local garden center in Columbia and Ellicott City, Clarks Ace Hardware has the products you need to keep your garden thriving, no matter the season. Visit one of our gardening centers today to learn more!