In the winter, it’s easy to fall into a bout of depression when the air is cold, the ground is frozen, the trees are bare and all of the beautiful flowers have died.
However, if you plan your garden plants just right, you can extend the spring and summer prosperity into winter and enjoy year-round blossoms without making a trip to the florist. A gardening expert may recommend winter-blooming camellia blossoms, crimson poinsettias, stunning hellebores and aloha roses, or late-winter crocuses.
Read on for more gardening advice to ensure you have year-round enjoyment.
During the winter, you may also want to add late growing plants to the mix. You can plant ornamental cabbages that come in stunning foliage colors such as yellow, lilac, deep purple, white and pink.
This heath is the hardiest winter flower, as it’s able to withstand temperatures as low as -25. Parsley survives from May through November. From June through November, you can harvest broccoli, chard and kale. Beets can even be harvested into December and potatoes can be dug up from July into December.
Starting in August (through November), you can harvest broccoli raab, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, rutabagas and turnips. Home gardening while starting in August (through December), you can harvest leeks, pears, carrots and winter squash. September through November, you’ll gather your pumpkins, shelling beans and celery root.
October through November, you’ll pick fennel and from October through December, you can gather cranberries and parsnips. Mushrooms can be cultivated year-round. Vegetable gardening is not only enjoyable when you see the fruits of your labor, but it’s also practical because you can feed your family, while saving hundreds at the grocery store.
To help your growing garden plants withstand colder temperatures, you should mulch well (about 4 inches deep) in the fall. Reduce watering a month or so before the first frost to prevent over-saturation.
After a few hard freezes, you should then water well to provide moisture to help the plants go dormant. If there are sudden freezes, extremely cold weather or if you’re dealing with young plants, then you may need to cover your new shrubs with a burlap sack or an old sheet.
In the summer, you should brush away some of the remaining mulch to enable the sunshine to penetrate the soil.
If this is your second year of producing garden plants, then it’s important that you plant your winter vegetable crops in a different location than last year. Planting in the same spot every year weakens the soil, loses nutrients and attracts insects or disease.
A gardening expert may also recommend that you use cover crops to build up damaged or idle soil. By planting fast-growing greens, you can spade, plow or till them into the soil for added green organic matter and nutrients.
In the fall, you can sow alfalfa, Austrian field peas, white clover, crimson clover, red clover, purple vetch, hairy vetch, woolly vetch, common vetch, fava beans, wheat, oats, cereal rye, winter rape, and lupines.
Flowers in a winter garden can add a bit of excitement and wonderment, a dash of fragrance and a splash of color to your yard.