Gardens – Winter offers plenty of options if you’re wondering what to do in a garden. This may surprise you, especially if you live in a colder climate. However, you should always pay attention to outside gardening tasks. Naturally, you want to avoid making any winter garden mistakes. To keep you on track, here’s winter gardening do’s and don’ts to keep you busy until spring arrives.
What to Do in a Garden in Winter
Trees are the focus of most winter gardening tips. Since gardeners spend most of the other three seasons tending to flowers, vegetables, and shrubs, this makes sense. Let’s look into some winter gardening do’s and don’ts for trees:
- During early winter is the best time to plant new trees, but you should plant them at least six weeks before the ground freezes. Be sure to keep newly transplanted saplings well-watered in order to improve their chances of survival. Keep the ground moist whenever the ground is thawed throughout the winter season if the snowfall is scant.
By spreading a 2- to 3-inch layer of mulch or compost around its base, you will protect its roots from temperature changes and frost heave.
- Trimming deciduous trees in the winter is also a great idea. As soon as the leaves fall, the branches are visible. If a hailstorm damages trees, cut the branches as soon as possible. To prevent this job from becoming overwhelming in the spring, pick up fallen debris regularly.
Some Winter Gardening Do’s and Don’t
- Do pick up fallen leaves. When thick leaves cover the lawn and cause mold growth.
- Don’t let perennial weeds overwinter in flowerbeds. The roots will become grow stronger during the winter months, which will make weeding more difficult next year.
- Do deadhead flowers with invasive tendencies. Seeds from manageable species can be left in place as winter forage for wild birds.
- Don’t trim shrubs or fertilize during the winter. These tasks can stimulate premature growth and result in damage to the plant.
- Do wrap trees and shrubs near roads and driveways to protect them from salt spray and falling temperatures. Wrap tree trunks to prevent rodents and deer from chewing them.
- Don’t let your irrigation system freeze. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for winterizing and purging sprinkler systems.
- Do clean off the vegetable garden and properly dispose of diseased or pest-infected vegetation.
- Don’t leave container plants outdoors without protection. You can move the planters close to the foundation or bury them in the ground. Another option is to cover them with a heat-retaining blanket. You could do better with moving containers into a garage or storage area.