To most gardeners, winter is the time to relax and allow the garden to rest ahead of the next growing season. Though this is allowed, hanging up all gardening tools is not advisable. It is a time to learn new things and implement a few winter gardening tips that you may have learned. Winter is the ideal time to scheme and plan ahead of the next growing season. Is there a crop you would like to grow but do not know how to start it and care for it until maturity? Spend your winter learning and researching about it. Here are eight gardening tasks you should try out this winter.
Visit a botanical garden
A botanical garden will not only inspire you to dream but also offer beneficial gardening lessons. Visit one or two botanical gardens within your region and learn about the many tropical plants you can incorporate into your summer garden as annuals. Many tropical plants thrive under different climatic conditions. So, there is an annuals solution for every gardener.
Sharpen and oil your gardening tools
Summer is a busy time for gardeners; you want to enjoy summer activities and tend to your garden as well. Therefore, there is little or no time to care for clippers and snippers. But, you need a sharp and rust free blade to farm and prune during the next growing season. It saves you time and causes fewer damages to your plants. Hence the need to spend your winter break sharpening, oiling and tighten gardening tools like scissors, loppers, pruners, and shears just to mention a few.
Check on bulbs and seeds
If you save tubers and bulbs like gladiolas and dahlias over winter, ensure that you check on them frequently because the slightest change in humidity can cause rotting or development of fungus. The same applies to seeds. They should be stored in a cool and well-ventilated location during winter.
Build your compost
The cold winter weather does not stop compost from cooking. So, keep on tending to your compost pile, add kitchen scraps and mix the compost well to promote good decay and incorporation.
Do not cut down on perennials
Clearing the garden ahead of winter is a norm. But, before you do so this winter, think about garden insects and birds that could feed on the mess you clear and burn. For instance, praying mantis or their eggs can be stuck on dried flower stalks. Birds appreciate the mess because they can build temporary homes while insects can lay eggs and spend their winter in hibernation form.
Plan to grow something new
Planning is a great part of winter gardening. Think about a challenging crop and plan how you will start it and nurture it to maturity. It is advisable to think outside the box and go for things like cactus or hardy bananas.
Clean the houseplants
Though highly overlooked, houseplants also require some pampering during winter. Dust them off and clean them gently with a moist cloth. It is an opportunity to inspect the plants for scale insects that manifest as sticky residues that can be cleaned with alcohol.
Feed the birds
Birds also need to survive through winter, and they must feed. So, leave flower stalks uncut to feed the birds. If you have the spirit, hang fat sources like suet or peanut butter on a string and set out a bowl of water for the birds.
Winter gardening does not necessarily mean manual cultivation. It is more about prepping your garden and preparing for the next growing season. If your previous produce was not so healthy, take time to study your garden soil and point out the mistakes you made to ensure better results next time.