Enjoy A Beautiful, Productive Garden Even in the Winter
Article by Pat Lowe
Garden plants can boost your mood all year round with carefully chosen colors and varieties. Some plants, like hyacinths, pansies, daisies, crocuses and forget-me-nots blossom early in April; while others, like gladioluses, dahlias, black-eyed Susan and asters bloom in late August or September. You can fill the months in between with narcissuses (May), peonies/carnations/poppies (June), and irises/lilies/hand bells/petunias/delphiniums (July). Read on for more gardening advice to ensure you have year-round enjoyment.
There are many vegetables that can be harvested in the wintertime. Parsley survives from May through November. From June through November, you can harvest broccoli, chard and kale. Beets can even be harvested into December and potatoes can be dug up from July into December.
Starting in August (through December), you can harvest leeks, pears, carrots and winter squash. Starting in August (through November), you can harvest broccoli raab, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, rutabagas and turnips. September through November, you’ll gather your pumpkins, shelling beans and celery root. October through November, you’ll pick fennel and from October through December, you can gather cranberries and parsnips. Mushrooms can be cultivated year-round.
To help your garden plants withstand colder temperatures, you should mulch well (about 4 inches deep) in the fall. Reduce watering a month or so before the first frost to prevent over-saturation. After a few hard freezes, you should then water well to provide moisture to help the plants go dormant.
The Ed Hume Seeds gardening blog recommends building windbreaks and walls to add 10 to 15 degrees of warmth to your garden. Similarly, permanently edged raised beds with well-made soil can increase the temperature between 8 and 12 degrees. Cloches (portable greenhouses made of cloth, glass panes or pop bottles) can increase the solar energy, although they must be properly ventilated and firmly secured. Cold frame boxes made of old 18 x 12 window sashes and glass are more permanent structures that protect from strong winds, elevate temperatures and protect flowers and veggies from frost; these boxes can also allow you to seed up to 8 weeks earlier than usual. Hot beds (cold frames with electric heating cables to provide bottom heat) can keep a garden frost-free all winter long.
Whether you’re into vegetable garden plants or perennial flower gardening, these tips should help you create a beautiful and productive winter ensemble. Flowers in a winter garden can excitement and wonderment to your yard.
About the Author
Everyone wants their property to look its best and one of the ways to do that is to enhance your landscaping. For some great suggestions on lawns, gardens and even outdoor garden lighting, visit our landscape ideas site.
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