Jan 22, 2019

Winter Garden Guide 2019

by RidgeCrest Herbals

Gardening may not be on your mind when it's snowing, but in winter you can take some proactive measures to ensure a great spring.

Hopefully, you already added a layer of mulch on your garden beds in the fall, so monitor them in the following months as the initial layers break down; you may need to add more.  Mulch creates heat when it decomposes, which helps insulate your beds and provides them with nutrients.

Watch where you salt! If you need to de-ice your driveways and sidewalks, be careful while you sprinkle. Salinity in the soil surrounding your garden beds can negatively affect your plants. If you're anxious about this, you can use salt-free ice melters like magnesium chloride or calcium chloride.

If you're bringing in potted plants to winter in your home, spray them with an organic insecticidal solution to keep any outdoor hitchhikers from coming in. Place your pots away from air vents and drafts to maintain a consistent temperature, and lower your watering schedule - houseplants don't grow as aggressively during winter months.

Some bulbs grow early in the season, in the middle of the last snowstorms of winter. Don't worry! These plants are designed to survive cold temperatures. If you are afraid of an impending snowstorm weighing down your tulips, you can cover them with a fabric sheet.

Speaking of covers, many people cover their delicate plants in late winter/early spring to protect them from lingering frosts. While this is a good idea, covering must be done correctly, or it can end up doing more harm than good. Use cloth or burlap instead of plastic. Plastic can trap excessive moisture around your plant, causing damage. If you have to use plastic, keep it from coming into contact with any of the stems, branches, or leaves.