Looking at the falling leaves made me think of a dull fall and winter garden ahead. What else is there to do but wait for the coming spring and summer growing season? Or so I thought until I did some searching online and found out I actually didn’t have the time to be idling about.
Although you can’t have the pleasure of planting outdoors, there are a lot of activities which are actually beneficial to your garden. Find out the gardening must-dos to get ahead next growing season as you read through. And check these 15 things you should be doing in your fall and winter garden if you’re running out of ideas to get busy with this season.
Fall And Winter Garden Ideas You Should Do
It can be frustrating when you’ve just recently enjoyed your first harvest and want to grow more but then comes the winter season. I’ve been in the same shoes and how I would look out of my kitchen window into my garden and imagine spring.
While winter gardening is limited, there are actually a lot of things you can do. In fact, I was in a hurry to get working on some winter crafts, I almost forgot some of these essential fall and winter garden tasks.
Read on to find out what tasks you could be missing or had left undone. You’ll find the winter season isn’t a dull gardening season after all but a great break from the mundane of gardening.
1. Fall And Winter Garden Clean Up
With all the fallen leaves and the left-overs from your spring and summer vegetable garden, a fall clean up is really necessary. This will prevent rot in your grass and spread of plant diseases for your new plants next growing season. Plus the gathered garden trash make good materials for composting.
Pruning will also help prevent the spread of plant diseases by cutting out the inflicted parts. This is ideal in late winter in many regions. It encourages growth in the spring and blooms for the flowering ones. Avoid pruning in fall when the spread of fungi is more prolific in this season.
2. Cook Up A Compost
Although the cold season will hinder speedy micro-organic activities, you can still compost in winter. Considering how compost materials are in abundance from a fall garden clean-up, composting this season is just practical.
When pruning branches and plant stems with diseases, it would be best to burn them first and use the ashes as a compost material. This will prevent the spread of disease in your compost.
Make sure to cut up your compost materials into bits and pieces to speed up the process. An insulated compost bin will also help spread the process since the microorganisms working in your compost will be protected from the cold.
3. Plant A Perennial Bulb Flower Garden
Don’t plant bulbs in your flower garden and you’ll miss out on a beautiful almost magical flower garden. With flowering bulbs like crocuses, snowdrops, daffodils, and tulips, you’ll make a winter wonderland of your garden with them popping in the snow. Pick gorgeous flowering bulbs here for your flower garden.
Grow small flowering bulbs such as crocuses and snowdrops in clumps for an impact. Add tulips of different colors for a lovely all season flower garden. Don’t plant bulbs in soggy grounds as they are prone to rots and mulching your planted bulbs will protect them in dormancy.
4. Inventory Of Garden Tools And Seeds
Your gardening tools have been doing the hard work just as you have over the last growing season. So it’s only natural to clean them up and check if they needed some repairs before they go into tool storage.
Doing this activity this fall and winter will help you save money on long lasting gardening tools. Plus you’ll avoid any hitch over your gardening tools come growing season in spring.
5. Extend Growing Season
For the avid grower, this task is nothing new. After all, a self-sufficient will go to great lengths as extend the growing season. Greenhouses, high tunnels, row covers, and grow lights are the season extending tools you can use.
Growing in greenhouses don’t have to be costly when high tunnel greenhouses are easy and inexpensive to build. If you don’t have enough space or the expenses to spare then grow plants and vegetables indoors this winter.
You get to save on the energy since the atmosphere inside your home is conducive to plant growth. Find out what plants you can grow indoors here to extend the growing season.
6. Start Seeds Indoors
Growing seeds indoors is ideal for brassicas when you are planning to grow veggies in early spring since they are cool season crops. Starting seeds by batch in succession will help ensure a successful harvest if some of the seedlings fail.
7. Cold Hardy Vegetable Garden
You can extend the growing season with season extending tools but with cold hardy vegetables, you won’t even need these tools at all. All you need are the right plants in the cold hardy ones.
Brassicas are some of the well-known vegetables tolerating the cold fall and winter temperature. They tolerate the light frost and are even enhanced in terms of flavor with overwintering. Look for more crops and plants ideal for winter gardening here.
8. Update Or Create A Garden Journal
If you just started growing your own food and you’re not stopping, then it’s important you start a garden journal as well. You’ll find this very helpful in the long run.
Have been listing down garden notes for some time now? I’m pretty sure they need some organizing and this crop planting log sheet will be very helpful.
Taking down pictures of your plants and the winter garden is another fun activity this winter. Don’t forget to paste them where you see fit in your garden journal.
9. Make A Bird Feeder
Although birds have natural instincts and a knack for searching their own food, the cold winter weather can still deprive them of this. Making birds feeders may give you the pleasure of birds hanging out in your yard. But what is important is how you get to save many of them from the harsh cold.
10. Prepare Outdoor Plants
Protect the root crown of perennial bushes like roses and hydrangea by applying a thick layer of soil to the base. Mulching and covering the plant with a burlap sack or row covers can also help. With regards to small trees and ornamental shrubs not native to your area, planting them in containers will easily allow for moving to greenhouses or indoors.
11. Fall Garden Decorations
With the fall season harvest, a lot of materials from the harvest can be used for decorating the garden in fall. From pumpkins to corn and corn husks to pine cones and conifer berries will make great fall decor materials.
The fall season has interesting autumn colors which make a great theme for container gardening. These fall containers gardens make a great decor both for the outdoors and indoors.
12. Winter Garden Decorations
Winter is devoid of our favorite flowers and plants but it doesn’t mean we can’t have a lovely garden. Decorating your garden for the holidays will need more than just hollies and conifers. Transform your garden into a winter wonderland with garden lights. You can also make these magical glowing mushrooms for some more organic looking garden lights.
13. Indoor Plant Care
Although indoor plants cannot be easily killed, you still need to know the basic indoor plant care to prevent them from dying. Your indoor atmosphere will protect them from the frost outside in the winter time. This is where they’ll need some protection from getting all dried up. Make sure they stay moist but not too wet or soggy. Indoor plants aren’t only for decorations, they filter the air inside your home keeping it fresh.
14. Maintain An Indoor Herb Garden
With the holiday feasts and celebration in the fall and winter season, an indoor herb garden will be very handy. Even your daily meals will need herbs for organic and healthy flavor improvement.
Growing herbs indoor is a foolproof approach to gardening and is best for gardening beginners. It is a must-do in winter if you want a steady and healthy supply of herbs.
15. Grow An All-Seasons Container Garden
Growing cold hardy ornamental plants native to your area is a practical winter garden decor. While such kinds of plants are a rarity, what matters is there are plants you can rely on to help keep your garden interesting in winter. Plants such as Variegated Ivy, Hellebore, Skimmia, and Checker Berry will look good together. Grow a container garden with these plants for an all seasons container garden.
Want some more fall and winter gardening ideas? Then check this video from Lowe’s Home Improvement:
The fall and winter garden doesn’t have to be dull and neglected. These seasons isn’t just for dreaming about your next growing season’s gardening activities. It isn’t just about looking at seed and plant catalogs and planning a garden. Now, with these activities in line, I’m pretty sure you’ve lots in your hands there would be no time for sulking in your window and wishing it were spring. Get these things done for a great fall and winter garden.
Which of these activities have you been doing now for your fall and winter garden? Let me know how these ideas have been helpful for your garden by posting your comments below.
Plan your spring vegetable garden now and choose from this list of vegetable garden plants for your spring vegetable garden.