Monday, January 9, 2017

Cool Tips to Help Your Garden Survive Winter

Cool Tips to Help Your Garden Survive Winter | City of Creative Dreams

Winter is here, and during the next several months your garden will endure harsh conditions such as frost, snow and ice. As the weather turns cold, it is essential to protect plants for the sake of a lush and beautiful garden, come sun and spring. After all, there is no reason for all the autumn labor you put into your garden to go to waste. For this reason, and less work in spring, here are a couple of useful tips to preserve your garden during these cold winter months.

Protect Your Plants from Wind
Plants, especially delicate blooms and autumn plants, can get pretty battered by winter winds. To protect them, you will need to create wind barriers. All you need to do is drive some stakes into the ground around the planted area and surround it with old burlap sacks. As for young trees, you can loosely wrap the trunk with burlap, which insulates the plant, or stake them to keep them firm against high winds.

Mulch Your Garden
Plants constantly freeze and thaw due to frost, which breaks down their cellular structure. By using mulch, however, you create an insulating layer which traps warm air and moisture, giving your plants a protective coat and raising the temperature by a couple of degrees. Be sure to use autumn leaves, wood chips or a thick layer of working compost. Try not to mulch with grass clippings or straw, as they may contain weed seeds, which can cause you problems once they sprout in spring.

Protect Plants from Frost
By re-purposing old plastic bags, you can protect them from snow, wind and frost. Simply, place the plastic over the top of the flower and secure it at the base. Make sure to use transparent plastic materials, as they let more sunlight in. Additionally, you’ll want to have a loose fit, to still allow some airflow, as the warm, stale air can cause microbes and plant bacteria to spread over your flowers.

Regulate Your Soil’s pH Levels
In order to prepare your garden for spring planting, and make it sturdy during winter, you will need to check the pH levels of your soil. Gardening services experts suggest using the basic electronic testers or pH kits, readily available at most plant nurseries. The pH level of your soil should be in the range between 6.3 and 6.9. Once you figure out whether your soil is too acidic (bellow 6.3) or too alkaline (above 7.5), garden professionals suggest using lime and elemental sulfur, to reach the ideal pH level for your soil.

Add Nutrients with Compost
As winter slows down the natural release of nutrients to the soil, it is a smart move to work in additional natural compost into your soil at the start of the season. You can learn how to create compost from leftover organic materials both from your garden and kitchen, like dry foliage, grass and tree clippings, fruit and veg scraps, and egg shells, or buy manure and use it as compost. Throughout the winter, the thick layer you placed on your garden bed will break down, release nutrients, and slowly replenish your soil.

Plant a Vegetable Garden
Before the first chills hit your garden, it is a good idea to plant a winter crop. Planting the most resilient vegetables in late autumn ensures they will start to pop out just in time for the first snow. This provides just enough exposure to cold, ensuring a healthy first crop at the beginning of spring.
These simple, yet effective, tips will ensure your garden stays healthy and protected, even in winter. Once spring arrives, you will not only have a healthy base, ready for gardening, but you will also have less work to do, and a garden already teeming with life.


Guest post courtesy of Diana Smith.

Hi, I am Diana Smith. I am a full-time mom of two beautiful girls interested in home decor and latest DIY projects. On my free time, I enjoy exercising and preparing healthy meals for my family. Follow me on Twitter and Google+

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