Gardens, lawns and flower beds tend to lose our attention in the fall until the ground warms up again. But there is plenty to do outdoors in the winter to prepare for the next growing season. Here are a few tips for maintaining your garden after the cold weather sets in.
- Mulch. Mulch is more than a pretty trimming with weed blocking capacity. It keeps the ground warm and moist by adding a protective layer for roots and bulbs during a frost. Unprotected soil loses water much faster during the winter months. And while mulch doesn’t guarantee your annuals won’t die, the added protection is a plus.
- Plant Bulbs. Bulbs can be planted in December and early January in Georgia because the ground rarely freezes. The trick to healthy spring bulbs is planting so roots develop before the first freeze. Plant with the nose pointing up and cover lightly with soil.
- Cold-season Veggies. Plant cold season vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, peas and Brussels sprouts if you want to continue growing fresh produce. Collards, mustard greens, spinach, kale, and rutabagas are additional options for cold-weather gardening.
- Fabric Covers. Traditionally, perennials and vegetables are covered with upside-down containers on cold winter days. It is safer for the plants to use cloth instead of other materials. Plastic can trap moisture which could damage the plants.
- Protect Young Trees & Shrubs. Bundle saplings and young shrubs with burlap to protect from the frost during harsh winter days. Remove the wrapping as soon as the temperatures rise to reduce the risk of forcing trees out of dormancy in the middle of winter.
- Winter Weed Control. Get a head start on eliminating weeds from your lawn and garden by pulling up sprouts as soon as they appear.
Follow these steps, and spring will be knocking at your door before you know it!