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Restless for some productive projects in the sleepy winter season? Us too — which is why we’re keeping busy at Park Seed with garden maintenance. See if any of the chores we’re doing might apply to your garden, too.

As you know, keeping a yard or landscape looking great takes continual love and care, so even though there might not be as many weeds growing out in the yard, winter is a great time to do a few of those things that summer doesn’t allow!

Stand back from the tree and see it as part of the landscape before beginning any limbing.

Stand back from the tree and see it as part of the landscape before beginning any limbing.

 Right  now we’re focused on three main landscape jobs: limbing trees, preparing soil, and making sure irrigation lines are leak-free so they don’t burst.

Limbing Trees

As we limb the trees, we strive to prune them all to the same height, so that they make a good visual impression from a distance. The best way to do this is by standing back, then flagging the branches to be limbed with marking tape or twine to remember exactly which to cut.

Sift composted matter through this garden sieve to eliminate unbroken-down pieces before you add to the garden.

Sift composted matter through this garden sieve to eliminate unbroken-down pieces before you add to the garden.

Preparing the Soil

Winter is the absolute best time to improve the soil — without lifting a finger! We also put in a lasagna garden, and now is the time to spread compost on areas of poorly draining and infertile soil. During the winter months compost will continue to degrade, although at a much slower rate, and by spring the soil will be looser and richer for it!

Checking Irrigation

Make sure sprinklers and in-ground irrigation is leak-free this winter.

Make sure sprinklers and in-ground irrigation is leak-free this winter.

Be sure to drain the pipes of any irrigation system that is likely to freeze during winter, and turn on each of the valves to release pressure in the pipes. Turn off irrigation at the main valve, or if you are operating on an automatic system and live in a warm climate, set it on “rain” to prevent the sprinklers from turning on during the winter months.


Winter is also a great time to start seeds for spring, dream about new varieties to try this year, and watch the weather forecasts for a break in the cold!

 

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2 Comments

  • donna says:

    I am interested in knowing how to continue composting all winter especially since the compost pile is now frozen. Any suggestions for winter composting. As this also alleviates good waste going into garbage bags. Going green and wanting to stay green all winter. thanks donna

  • Chris says:

    Donna,
    Winter Compost – Two things that play an important role in winter composting are heat and insulation. This is because you want to make sure that all microbe activity does not cease. If an external heat source is out of the question, you want to try and make your pile as big as possible — that way it keeps the internal temperature warmer. You could even try putting some type of clear plastic over the pile to create a greenhouse effect. Secondly, insulation. For insulation, I would place hay bales around the pile, keeping the harsh weather to a minimum.
    Fall bulbs – If the ground isn’t frozen, go ahead and plant them outside so they will have fulfilled their cold requirement. Planting them inside will not let them fulfill that requirement, so I would say stay away from that idea. If the ground is frozen, you may be able to get away with putting them in the refrigerator until ready to plant again in the fall.

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