Preparing for Winter

Winter is coming fast this year and it seems to be a bit colder than usual! With seasons changing rapidly, we need to protect our gardens and prepare for this season of planning and relaxation. For November, the main focus is on your cool season vegetables. It should almost be time to harvest them depending on your zone. While taking care of those plants, go ahead and order seed catalogs for planning for next years garden. This is such a fun time to see what you want to plant next year and sometimes companies will even have a special end of season sell.

Planning

With Thanksgiving in a couple of days, keep the leftovers that you won’t eat (as well as the ones you will eat) for composting. We’ve mentioned before how important composting is as you can add a lot of nutrients back into your soil for strong plants. As we head into December, keep harvesting your winter garden, composting, and weeding to keep things shipshape for your upcoming garden! After December passes through, you’ll want to sit down and start planning for January. What kind of gardens do you want to have? Containers, urban, more designs? This is all up to you as you plan to plant your new seeds and plants! Save and date the maps that you draw out so that you know where to rotate your crops for the next season.

Before planning your next years garden, you may want to know how to salvage your plants for this winter.

Winterizing

Some plants that are perennials, may need some help. Winter-hardy plants go through a process called hardening off which is when they go from a lively growth to being dormant. This process happens in response to natural environmental signals like how it gets dark earlier as well as the temperature change. This process depends on the zone you live in and when frost will come. If frost hasn’t arrived to your doorstep yet, then go ahead and water landscape your plants. The more hydrated, the healthier they are which leads to better chances for them to survive winter.

Clean up the base of your plants, dead stems, leaves that have fallen off, etc., because some of those could be diseased or just adding extra hiding places for pests. Add a mulch layer to your plants will also help protect them from frost. This is important to add to beds with bulbs, new trees, shrubs, or a cold hardy plant. It’s sort of like a blanket of warmth to insulate the soil! Another easy way to winterize your plants are to add frost blankets to them! We sell a protector film that rests on top of your plants to help them from frost as well as a tunnel that is super easy to install! You can also use old blankets, sheets, and tablecloths to cover them. Saving these plants over winter can lead to you having longer lasting plants and great houseplants as well! Consider bringing easy care plants inside for natural room decor!

Winter is a great time to reboot and prepare for the next season. Take this time to focus on your loved ones, harvest the good stuff, and relax. There is a season for everything under the sun.

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About Rachael Caddell

Originally from Charleston, SC, Rachael grew up among gorgeous gardens and her mother's green thumb. Now in the midst of growing her own garden, Rachael loves to find new creative ideas for her plants. She is a writer and manages social media for Park Seed. In her free time she likes to cook, watch movies, and travel.

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