Clean Up and Start Composting
Prepping your garden is quite similar to reading a book: before you start the next chapter, make sure you have finished the previous one. Likewise, before you start planting cover crops, it’ll be necessary to rid your soil of last season’s plants, weeds and other plant residues. If the last season crops aren’t diseased, you can easily implement them in a fresh batch of compost, which will, alongside organic matter, well-rotten manure, peat and leaves, be added to the soil to protect it from frost and give it the essential minerals it craves. When it comes to your vegetable garden, it would be a good idea to consider planting some cover crops, such as rye or garlic, as they will add more organic matter to the soil.
Tend Your Herbs
If you have a herb garden, this will be a good time to make some winter stashes of your favourite spices. Of course, not all herbs are sensitive to the cold and as such, you can easily leave thyme over winter, as it will go to its dormant stage and wake up in the spring without any harm. While sage doesn’t require any special treatment during these colder months, it’ll be necessary to cover up rosemary as well as parsley as they can be a bit sensitive to the frost. Certain herbs such as chives should be replanted in pots and kept inside so they could flourish during winter months.
Don’t Forget the Berries
When it comes to berries, the best you can do is cut the fall-bearing raspberry canes to the ground level and water them during winter dry spells. The results will be visible in the spring when new canes appear. Blackberries can be planted in fall, but it’ll be necessary to add some extra soil around the canes to prevent frosts from damaging them. Lastly, keep in mind that strawberries can be a bit sensitive to the cold, so it would be wise to cover them with hay or straw.
Careful With Perennials and Flowers
When temperatures start decreasing rapidly, it’ll be a clear sign to cut the stems of perennials and throw them away. Some people like to add these stems to their compost pile, but it’s quite possible that they bear diseases which can easily survive the winter and ruin your spring crops later on. This is why it’s better to find a green alternative to dispose of residues such as these, preferably by renting out one of those JNS skip bins, which is known for its green waste disposal services.
The next step is to heavily mulch the ground using hay, pine needles and peat moss in order to keep the plants from cold. When you spot black leaves as a result of frost, it’ll be time to move specific plants indoors and keep them in a dark and humid spot until spring arrives.
Just as we like to snuggle up under a blanket and near the fireplace during these cold winter months, your garden beds are also in need of some preparation, covering and cleaning up. So if you wish to see your garden flourish next spring, it’ll be crucial to do some hefty gardening during these few months, until winter finally comes knocking on your door.
All above images courtesy of Creative Commons and Pixabay
Diana Smith is a full time mom of two beautiful girls and a passionate traveler. In her free time she enjoys writing about home and family, pets and gardening.
Site last updated: 17. December 2018