Have you tucked your garden in for the winter? If you’re already missing it, here are a few winter gardening tips to help you make it to spring!
If a quiet, snowy winter land isn’t what you’re after, add a bird feeder to attract feathered friends to your yard. Seeing life in the garden always cheers me up and reminds me that spring is around the corner!
Remember that the type of food and feeder you choose will impact the kind of birds you attract. Popular choices are sunflower seeds and suet. These attract chickadees, nuthatches, blue jays, cardinals, finches, sparrows, and woodpeckers.
When you can’t be outside, the next best thing is to grow thriving plants indoors! When daylight hours shorten, indoor plants are not actively growing and use less water. Houseplants don’t like wet feet. They need excellent drainage to ensure they aren’t sitting in water.
Keep an eye on them and add water only when the top inch of the soil has dried out. Regular misting can be helpful if humidity is low in your home. And if you notice dust on the leaves, pop them in the tub for a quick shower.
While you’ll finish most of your pruning before the snow falls, maples and other shade trees can be pruned in early winter when they are dormant. On sunny winter days, it’s great to be in the garden! Gather your tools, head outside, make clean cuts, and only prune 25% of the tree.
Newly planted shrubs or those that lose their leaves in winter do well with a little extra protection. Winter can be tough on even hardy shrubs!
You can wrap your shrub with twine to help it face heavy snow loads, cover it with a burlap sack, or try the 4-post method.
Hammer 4 posts around the shrub (equally spaced and slightly taller). Wrap burlap around the posts, leaving the top open and staple it into place. This shades the shrub from the sun and protects it from the wind while allowing snow to collect as insulation.
Sunscald happens due to extreme changes from the hot sun and cold temperatures. It typically occurs on the south or southwest side of the tree. If you notice tree bark that is elongated, sunken, cracked, or dead, sunscald may be to blame.
The good news? It’s easily prevented by using a tree wrap or guard around the trunk. Be sure to use a light colour which helps reflect the sunlight.
Rabbits, deer, mice, and other little critters get hungry during the winter. With increased snow loads, rabbits can easily reach lower branches of trees and shrubs. You can keep animals out of your garden with a few tricks.
One of the best ways to survive winter is to think of Spring!! Winter is an excellent time to set future gardening goals and plan for new projects.
Tips to help you plan next year’s garden:
It’s the perfect time to snuggle up in front of the fire and plan your gardens and get ready for spring. Until then, winter gardens can be full of interest, texture, and life! I hope these winter gardening tips help protect your trees and shrubs and set you up for success in spring.
Just keep growing!