Gardening in the Winter: How to Enjoy & Protect Your Plants Through the Cold Season
While many people might think that gardening is an activity best saved for spring and summer, any avid gardener will tell you that planting and gardening really is a hobby that can be enjoyed all year long! There are many ways to continue to feed your passion for planting long after the sun begins to set early in the day and the winter cold has crept in. You can protect your already existing outdoor plants for as long as possible, plan an outdoor winter garden, or bring your passion indoors by planting in pots! Keep reading to learn more about how you can keep your life and gardens green the whole year around!
PROTECTING YOUR PLANTS
When the temperatures begin to dip below freezing you know it is time to start thinking about how to keep your outdoor plants safe from the negative effects of frost. Frost can be damaging to plants because it can cause ice crystal formation within a plants cells, causing a disruption in the way water moves around the plant. Thankfully there are measures you can take to prevent these negative effects!
Cover your plants for the short term with a blanket or tarp during the most frigid overnight temps. Just be sure to remove the covering once the temperatures begin to rise the next day, otherwise the covering could cause condensation to form and leave your plants susceptible to frost from condensation!
Water, water, water! A surprising but easy way to help fight the cold and keep your plants protected is by making sure they get plenty of water. Soil that is damp or wet will hold heat better than soil that is dry. Not only will this help keep your plants vital root system warm, this method will also help warm the air immediately surrounding your plant. Keeping your plants surrounded with as much warmth as possible is one of the number one ways to keep them protected during the winter. Watering can serve a dual purpose of keeping your plant hydrated AND warm!
Stay educated about the weather. Stay on top of your local weather patterns with a personal weather device is a great way to make informed decisions about your garden no matter what time of year. Knowing when the freezing temperatures will strike gives you time to act on some of the suggestions we mentioned above before it’s too late.
BRINGING THE OUTSIDE IN
Not looking to venture outside to care for your plants this winter season? Don’t worry, there are still ways to enjoy your favorite hobby indoors while temperatures continue to drop outside.
Bring the outdoors in with a beautiful indoor garden! Container gardens are a great way to brighten up your living space while enjoying an activity you love. The Spider plant, Weeping Fig, and Jade plant are among the most common indoor plants and a great place to start if you’re not sure what to plant in your indoor garden! Succulents like String of Pears and Aloe Vera are also great for indoor gardens.
Get a head start on next growing season. Start next seasons seeds indoors during the winter so you’re ahead of the game come springtime! You can use a seed starter box, an old egg carton, or even an ice cube tray to easily plant and start seeds indoors – just be sure your container of choice has a way to drain water. Once you have planted the seeds, place your container in a large plastic bag to raise the humidity and temperature of the growing atmosphere. Place your container in the sun if necessary, and be sure to check the soil of your seedlings frequently. When you’re ready, move your plants to a larger container or outdoors to keep growing!
It can be easy to fall into a slump as the temperatures drop and winter begins, especially if you have an outdoor hobby like gardening. But with a little work and innovation you can keep your green thumb going strong throughout the cold months, and maybe even get a head start on the next planting season while you’re at it!