Preparing Your Garden For Winter

Woman gardening

If you’d like to plant your own vegetables in your garden, you’ll want to start the preparation process as early as possible. You can put up fences and poles now for your climbing pole beans and tomatoes. Then, when planting time comes, you can start digging the holes and planting the seeds. This way, you’ll have your garden ready when the weather warms up. But before you plant your veggies, make sure to follow the instructions on your seed packet.

Soil types vary in pH. Soils with pH 7.0 are neutral, while those that are below this level are alkaline. Because different types of garden plants thrive in different soils, it’s important to know which type is best for your garden. In an acidic soil, for instance, you can plant rhododendrons and camellias. By researching the acidity of your soil, you can select the plants that grow well in this type of soil.

If you want a garden plant that flowers during winter, you should consider the Japanese Yew. This is a cold-hardy plant with red fruit that blooms in winter. You can purchase dwarf varieties of this shrub, or you can choose a larger specimen. Either way, make sure to use a mix of shrubs, trees, and perennials. For best results, know your USDA Hardiness zone, and keep in mind how much sun you want your garden plants to get.

Cold frames are a great transitional spot for seedlings. A cold frame is also the perfect place to harden off delicate plants. Make sure your seedlings have multiple sets of leaves and are rooted well. Ventilate the cold frame during the warmest time of day, and do so gradually over the course of a few days. Seedlings and plants will adapt and develop new growth and dense foliage. If you’re not sure whether your seeds or plants are ready for winter yet, check the weather forecast before planting.

In cold climates, you’ll need to use heated containers. A temporary frame can be constructed by leaning an old storm window tent-style over the plants. Plastic milk jugs can also be used, cut on the bottoms. These temporary frames are usually removable for ventilation on sunny days. Some gardeners prefer to grow their plants in a warm bed called a hot bed. Then, you can use electric heating tape or cables to heat the soil in the frame. For nonelectric versions, you can use horse manure.

There are three main types of tomatoes: determinate, indeterminate, and indeterminate. Each group has different growth habits. Decided tomatoes grow to a certain height, such as three to four feet, then stop growing. Decided tomatoes grow to a set height, requiring some support. Indeterminate tomatoes continue to grow until killed by frost or disease. It’s important to choose your garden plants carefully to maximize the benefits of your garden.