Winter is a time of inactivity, slowing down, and rest for gardens. It is also a time when the garden is subjected to sometimes harsh conditions. Preparing the garden for the approach of winter aids in better protecting the plants and soil, as well as providing the most extraordinary circumstances for them to take full advantage of this period.
The Importance of Preparing Your Garden Before Winter
When summer is done, the gardener observes his plants and trees gradually enter a state of dormancy, the fruits and vegetables are harvested, the plants no longer bloom, and many of their leaves fall. The gardener’s work isn’t done; he still needs to prepare his garden for winter. This preparation attempts to protect and feed the soil before the first frosts arrive, allowing for a higher harvest the following season.
Autumn is also an excellent time to consider planning and upgrading the garden or vegetable patch for the next season. During the previous season, the gardener may have discovered that an area of the garden or vegetable patch was not getting enough sunlight, that an alley had a layout that could be improved, or that some vegetable plots could be more productive if they were arranged differently.
This pre-winter preparation is thus advantageous not only for the garden, better equipped to survive the winter but also for the gardener, who has simplified spring responsibilities.
Harvest The Last Fruits and Vegetables
The garden and vegetable patch appear to be out of breath in fall; the last fruits and vegetables are ripe, often overripe, and it is time to pick them.
Radishes, fennel, spinach, tomatoes, and zucchini can be cut at the root rather than hauled up, allowing decomposing root systems to provide additional resources to the soil. Plants that have not yet produced vegetables, such as leeks, kale, winter head cabbage, salsify, broccoli, turnip, endive, Jerusalem artichokes, lamb’s lettuce, and Brussels sprouts, must be protected because they must overwinter standing. You can pile them up or mulch them. They can also be grown in a greenhouse or a plastic tunnel.
Because few flowering plants can resist the cold and frosts of winter, you can move them indoors, place them in a greenhouse, or cover them with a wintering veil.
Clean Up The Garden
The garden can get covered with fallen leaves and twigs in the autumn. Plants, on the other hand, may have dead leaves and unfallen dried fruits. As a result, you should do a thorough cleaning before winter.
Pruning the trees that require it, removing dead wood, uprooting dead plants, cleaning the dead leaves that have fallen from the trees, weeding, hoeing, and repairing the lawns are all part of the procedure. These, too, require a final mowing before winter, when they must be let to rest. Hedges must also be trimmed, and the time before winter is the finest time of year to do it.
This is also a great time of year to pull weeds in the garden. Trees with hazardous branches or that are not growing adequately might also be clipped during this season.
All collected waste can then be composted to provide high-quality fertilizer for the next season.
Prepare The Land
Traditional gardening involves preparing the soil at the end of winter in preparation for sowing and planting in the spring. In the winter, however, it is advisable to hoe and turn the soil. As a result, the soil is better protected, and compacted, and can enrich itself more easily over the winter by taking more water and minerals.
This procedure will be aided if the dirt was mulched at the beginning of September, as the soil will have held sufficient humidity and will be easier to turn over.
After turning over the soil, use a pitchfork or a spade to loosen it and break up any clods. The soil must be loose in order to survive the winter and emerge much richer.
Use a U-fork to prepare the ground in winter for a more sustainable approach. This aerates and loosens the soil at depth while leaving the microorganisms in the surface layer alone.
When turning or loosening the soil, remember to enrich it by adding a large layer of compost or manure that will break down throughout the winter, resulting in particularly rich soil in the spring.
Mulch the soil after feeding it with a thick layer of fallen leaves, shavings or sawdust, hay, or straw. This layer should be 5 to 30 centimeters thick and serves a protective purpose by storing soil heat and minimizing winter erosion.
Clean, Repair, and Store Tools
After cleaning and preparing his yard for the winter, the gardener must look after his gardening tools.
He must clean them by removing all of the earth that has adhered to them, rinsing them, and allowing them to dry thoroughly. Metal tool pieces, such as spades and pitchforks, should be blasted with fine sandpaper to avoid rusting throughout the winter. Before storing pruning equipment like pruning hooks and shears, they should be sharpened and lubricated with linseed oil. Wooden handles and all metal parts of tools should be lubricated to keep moisture, rust, and mold at bay.
It is critical not to keep garden hoses outside during the winter since they may contain water that, if frozen, can ruin them. They must be rolled up and emptied before being stored in the garage or garden shed.
Wheelbarrows must be emptied and cleaned; otherwise, the dirt might become embedded and make cleaning difficult after the winter. Before storing the wheelbarrow undercover, the wheels can also be oiled or greased.
Buckets and other containers used in the production of home garden goods should not be left outside. They must, on the contrary, be emptied and completely cleaned before being stored in a secure location.
The approach of winter is also an excellent time to clean up your shed or garden shed and install new storage, shelves, or bins to maximize space utilization.