Winter! Thought gardening was over for the year? Oh, but there’s so much to consider and plan. You needn’t take up gourmet cooking until spring comes again. Here are a few things to consider during these long winter months:
Gardens need diversity
Annual plantings are a wonderful source of color, but, as anyone who’s had a deer or bug problem knows, mass plantings can be painful. One hungry rabbit, and there go the pansies. To reduce big time plant wipeouts, think on next year’s garden, and plan for different types of plant mixes. Grow repellent plants such as tansy, and bug traps such as nasturtium to keep the bugs at bay. Try companion planting, such as roses with garlic to further shield your gardens from the tiny hordes. Having lots of different plants will attract different beneficials too, so think about this when you”re considering next year’s color.
Lend a helping hand
Remember that some of the hardest working creature controls are birds. Now is a good time to get them settled into your garden. Winter is tough on creatures great and small. Feeding, watering, and housing birds during the winter will help you keep them around over the dreary season, and get them established for spring. Their droppings make great fertilizer, so create birdbaths and feeders for them. There are intensely creative and decorative feeders out there that you can make or buy. Nuts, berries, even twigs will make you the talk of the bird world; get out there and create something beautiful for you and your garden.
Consider the layout of your garden
Consider how the sun hits your beds. Do you need to rid a tree or do some pruning while the tree’s in dormancy? Did you have plants that grew too tall? Some too short for their area, or some that had too much or too little sun? Now’s the time to mark them, and decide where they”ll do better. Next spring, it’ll be a matter of plant and go.
And the rest…
As for this year’s bed. Have you mulched well? Brought in the plants that need to be indoors? Pruned for winter breakage possibilities? Cleaned, sterilized, and sharpened your garden tools? Thinned out your bulb beds? Built your new structures for vines or shade or just plain good looks? Winter is the time for all these details that got lost in the shuffle or spring and summer.
Oh, there’s so much to discuss, and so little space. Come on by the message board, and we’ll talk on all this and more. The board’s always open and we’re all friendly folk, so bring your questions, and your hot chocolate! Let’s talk!