Winterizing Your Garden
Now that the premium growing season is behind us, it’s time to think about winterizing your garden. Winterizing may seem like an unnecessary step, but it goes a long way in enhancing its performance in the spring. It doesn’t take a lot of time and will pay dividends next growing season. We’ve put together 4 easy steps to optimize your gardens health.
1 – Clean out your garden
The first step is to remove all unwanted growth, especially any diseased or infected plants. You don’t want those plants invading your garden in the spring, so now is the time to remove them to prevent any unwanted disease or insect infestation. Another invasive species you want to remove are the weeds that may have crept into your garden. A useful tip is to water the weeds beforehand to soften up the soil and make pulling them out easier. If the weeds have overtaken the garden, you may want to cover them in black plastic for the winter to kill them before spring.
2 – Replenish your soil
Now is the time to replenish your soil so it is ready to go. The first step you want to take is to test your soil to help you understand what it needs. You don’t need to send it off to a fancy laboratory. There are plenty of soil testing kits available online or at your local nursery. Once you have tested it, you’ll know exactly how to treat it. Add soil if you see areas that seem low and be sure to add any amendments to work in while you are at it. Based on your test, you’ll need to adjust the pH and N-P-K levels to restore it to a proper balance.
3 – Water one more time
Before you shut off the water for the winter, give your garden a good drink of water. Keeping plants well hydrated is a key step for winterizing your gardens, especially if there’s a drought and will help get them off to a healthy start after winter subsides.
4 – Protect your Soil
Once you’ve made the proper adjustments to your soil, you’ll want to protect it by adding an organic layer such as compost, mulch or simple the leaves you rake up in the yard. The mulch keeps your plants cold and helps keeps the ground frozen until spring, so your plants won’t thaw out and grow prematurely in the spring as well as protecting the plant roots.
Following these simple steps will ensure a healthy and beautiful garden in the spring and save you time and energy during the planting season.