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, right? Well not exactly! Check out these fall and winter garden tips and ideas!
Fall And Winter Garden Activities You Should Do
It can be frustrating when you just recently enjoyed your first harvest and want to grow more but then comes the colder season. While some might think there aren’t so many things you can do in your garden for the winter, there are actually a lot of things you can. In fact, I was in such a hurry to get working on some winter crafts, I almost forgot some of the essential fall and winter garden activities I normally do. 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 gardening mundane.
1. Fall And Winter Garden Clean Up
With all the fallen leaves and the left-overs from your vegetable garden, a fall cleanup is really necessary. This will prevent rot in your grass and spread of plant diseases in the next growing season. All the waste after cleanup also makes good compost materials.
Pruning helps prevents the spread of plant diseases with the affected parts cut out. This is ideal in late winter in many regions to encourage growth and flowers in spring. Avoid pruning in fall when the spread of fungi is more prolific.
2. Cook Up A Compost
Although the cold season will hinder speedy micro-organic activities, you can compost in winter. Considering how compost materials are in abundance from a fall garden cleanup, composting this season is just practical. When pruning branches and planting 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.
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 perennial flowering bulbs like tulips and crocuses, you’ll make a winter wonderland of your garden with them popping through the snow.
Grow small flowering bulbs like crocuses and snowdrops in clumps for an impact. Don’t plant bulbs in the soggy ground as they are prone to rot, and mulching your 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 need some repairs before they go into tool storage. Accomplishing this activity this fall and winter will help you save money on long-lasting gardening tools. Plus you’ll avoid any hitch with 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 gardener will go to great lengths to extend the growing season. Greenhouses, high tunnels, row covers, and grow lights are the season extending tools you can use. If you don’t have enough space or the budget to spare, then grow plants and vegetables indoors this winter. You get to save on energy since the atmosphere inside your home is conducive to plant growth.
6. Start Seeds Indoors
One of the easier and essential tasks in winter for your garden is to start seeds in a greenhouse or indoors. You can do this with indoor grow lights which you can make on your own. 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. Grow A 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. 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.
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 you 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 for their own food, the cold winter weather can still deprive them. Making bird 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. About 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
A lot of materials from the autumn 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 container gardens make 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 most indoor plants are survivors, knowing basic indoor plant care will help them better. Your indoor atmosphere will protect them from the frost outside in the wintertime. This is where they’ll need some protection from getting all dried up. Make sure they stay moist but not too soggy. Indoor plants aren’t only for decoration, they clean 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 indoor herbs is a foolproof approach to gardening and is best for beginners. It is a must-do in winter if you want a steady and free 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 checkerberry 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:
Fall and winter seasons aren’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 have lots to do on your hands and there would be no time for sulking out your window and wishing it was spring. Get these things done for a great fall and winter garden!
Are you up to any of these fall and winter garden activities? We’ll be glad to hear all about it in your comments below!
With winter just around the corner, find out what to grow this season for your garden landscape.
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2016 and has been updated for quality and relevancy.