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Is Your Garden Winter Ready? Here Are 6 Easy Steps to Make Sure It Is!

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Garden

 

A Turn of the Seasons

 

The temperatures have begun to turn, and nature is taking its cue to ready for winter. As leaves drift from trees down to yards, and later into piles, we pull out coats, gloves, and hats to ready ourselves for winter.

But what about your garden? Your hard work of planting, pruning, weeding, watering, nurturing, harvesting, and storing your garden’s fruits of the season is almost over. It’s almost time to sit next to the fire with a cup of hot cocoa, and relax after a busy and fruitful planting season.

But the work isn’t quite finished yet. Now is the time for finishing touches; to prepare your garden for winter, and make sure it’s good and ready come spring, when it’s time to begin again!

 

Here are 6 simple steps you can take to ready your garden for winter:

 

1. Harvest the last of your crops

It’s true that many cold-weather root crops do well being stored in the ground. But as you begin to ready your garden and soil for winter, now is the time to pull up the last of your crops, cure and preserve them, and store them in the basement or cellar for easy access over the next few months.

If you plan on leaving your root crops stored in the dirt over winter, cover them with a thick layer of straw or chopped leaves.

 

2.  Pull up dead or diseased plants

Look for any pants that are showing signs of disease or insect problems. Remove these plants and promptly burn them. You don’t want to allow them to winter in your garden.

 

3. Leave the rest alone!

Any plants that still look decent, leave be! Not only do they provide pleasant scenery in the midst of snow drifts, but they provide food and sanctuary for butterflies to lay their eggs, as well as nesting for birds.

 

4.  Take care of your soil

Covering your garden with a few inches of compost will protect it from nutrient depletion, as well as feed new nutrients into the ground. Compost should be made up of both brown and green materials:  food waste, garden scraps (non-diseased), straw, grass, and manure.

Be careful not to place down stronger winter compost–such as pine, chopped leaves, or hay–until later in the year. Otherwise mice may make their winter homes in your garden. Wait until the mice have found homes elsewhere, then cover your garden in a stronger winter mulch.

 

5.  Think ahead to spring!

Soon the ground will be covered in fluffy white snow, and thoughts of flowers and green grass will be far behind us, but also before us! Now is the time to plant your spring bulbs.

Plant them while the ground is still fairly soft, then water the soil to make it difficult for critters to burrow in. Plant daffodils, tulips, crocuses, hyacinths and garlic bulbs now, so that you can begin enjoying them as first fruits of the new spring season!

 

6. Clean and properly store your garden equipment

Make sure that all of your garden tools are properly cleaned and stored for winter. You don’t want to be finding rusty and damaged rakes and shovels when the snow begins to melt in spring.

 

You have worked long and hard through the spring and summer tending to your garden and crops, and the end is nearly in sight! Just follow the six easy steps above, then sit back and reflect over a successful season, while looking forward to another fruitful season come spring!

 

 

Sources:
http://www.today.com/home/how-prepare-your-garden-winter-1D80239823
http://www.bhg.com/gardening/yard/garden-care/preparing-your-garden-for-winter/
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