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winter gardening

Gardening to Do Before Spring

by Deborah Cruz

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

It’s kind of hard to imagine gardening, as I’m looking out the window to see freezing rain turn to mounds of snow but it’s right around the corner. Spring will be here before you know it. For the last couple of years, I keep waiting until May to start my garden but then May gets away from me and before I know it, summer’s over and I have no tomatoes. The garden just keeps getting pushed aside. This year, I want my tomatoes. I’m pushing through the procrastination and making a plan. This year, we’re considering winter gardening as part of my prep.

With a little organization and planning, your garden can be grow and plant ready this spring when you want to start enjoying it. If we leave our garden all winter the prep work can pile up and become a huge, time-consuming and labor intensive chore. No one wants to be rushing to prep their garden in May because if you’re a parent, you know May’s too busy for that. 

However, by doing a few gardening jobs now will make life a lot less stressful in the future for your garden parties, morning coffee on the deck and working out in the garden. Although the garden can look very dead in winter it isn’t always, flowers are waiting to push through, vegetables can still be grown and lots of animals are hibernating and may be in your garden resting ready for their return in spring.

Maintenance of any Water Areas

In the garden there may be different areas where you have pools of water. If you have a pond you may need to check it and make sure any water plants need cutting back or if the water needs to be treated in any way. If you have a pool or hot tub you may need to get someone in for any pool or hot tub maintenance. A lot of grime and dirt can build up so it is always best to get it sorted. You may even have the occasional animal find its way into your pond that has drowned and needs to be disposed of.

Trimming Plants And Bushes

One of the other things you will want to do is to trim plants and bushes, they should all be dried and looking dead now with all the leaves wilted off. It will be an easy time to prune them down so they can grow again for the next season. If you are ever unsure how much to prune them simply google it or ask your gardening friends. 

Assist The Wildlife In Your Garden

The creatures that comprise the ecosystem of your garden need your assistance now more than ever because they toil tirelessly year-round to eat pests and aerate your soil. It’s your turn to return the favor. If you have bird feeders, hang them up somewhere cats can’t reach them. If you’re crafty, construct a bug hotel. Insects and small mammals can find a place to overwinter if you just leave a pile of fallen branches and leaves in a corner of your yard.

Harvest Your Winter Crops 

Harvesting during the winter will be a lot of work if you’ve produced winter vegetables. It’s even said that hardy brassicas like Brussels sprouts and winter cabbage taste better after a frost. In the winter months, parsnips, leeks, and gorgeous kale are among the other veggies that are ready for harvesting. Not to worry, if you planted your vegetables in the autumn and they aren’t quite ready yet; they are all hardy and will happily grow in the ground till spring. 

If you’re planning a garden this spring, now is the time to get started prepping it so that you can have a hearty harvest this summer. If you’re an avid gardener, what’s your best tip for prepping your garden?

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