Don't Let Your Garden Sleep This Winter

| 10/17/2016 12:46:00 PM

Country MoonAs the air turns crisp and days get shorter, everyone turns their attention to the harvest. I love this time of year. I love to see the bounty from spring’s planting come full circle, whether it be in the garden or field.

However, it can also be a time to think of planting again. I know most gardens, including mine, look barren about this time of year, but there is a ton of produce that can not only be grown during the winter, but actually thrives during the cold months. As some crops are living out their last days, others are waiting to begin growth.

For areas where the ground doesn’t completely freeze, winter is a great time to plant right in the garden. For those of us who live further north, where the ground does completely freeze, we just have to be a little more creative.

Winter gardens are a little different from those grown in the warm months, and there are some definite advantages. For one thing, plants are dormant during winter, which means that they are not actively growing. Being in “sleeping” mode means that they suffer less transplant shock when planted now than if they were “awake” and actively growing.

Plants in the dormant state require significantly less water than when they are in the active growth state during spring, summer, or fall. There also tends to be more moisture in the forms of both rain and snow during the winter months than in the other three seasons. Watering is still crucial, just not as much is needed.

Bugs and plant diseases are not active in cold weather — this is a big one for me. Imagine gardening without the hassle of fighting pests. You get a reprieve from insects eating the produce before you have a chance, or black spots or mildew appearing from seemingly nowhere.

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