Learn easy steps to winterize your garden this year. You may have heard the saying “put your garden to bed for winter?” that’s the same thing as winterizing your garden. I’m going to show you how to winterize your garden in the Fall so it will be prepped and ready for easy Spring planting.
Why is Winterizing a Garden Important?
After a long cold winter and freezing temperatures, your soil, if left uncovered will be hard and or soggy depending on how much rain or snow you got over the winter months. Working on ground like that for planting can determine whether you have good success of not and can prove to be very difficult.
Putting your garden to bed for the winter is a smart thing to do if you want Springtime planting to be easy.
Planting in the Spring is much easier when your garden beds are dry, and the soil is nice and loose. Seeds will have a better chance or not rotting if the ground isn’t soggy.
Simple Steps to Easily Winterize Your Garden
- Collect leaves and compost to mulch over the garden beds – there are so many benefits from adding leaf mulch to your garden and a really cheap way to add healthy benefits also. Leaf mulch helps:
- Hold water and the soil underneath from being soggy. Less watering is needed during spring and summer because of this. Give the plants more time to drink water on their own instead of drying out quickly.
- It protects plants/bulbs planted in the winter from freezing temperatures acting like a blanket to insulate a little warmth.
- Keeps good soil from washing away.
- Is a natural weed barrier. These leaves will serve as a natural compost just as they are. Over the months they will rot down and feed the soil while also helping to suppress weeds. A win in my book.
- Remove What Weeds You have from the Garden
- *Wait Until the ground freezes once before adding your leaf mulch*- this is important because you want the cold to kill off any diseased plants or pests it may be home to. Then you can add your leaf mulch.
- Clean hay is also a good way to compost and cover the garden. Be sure to inspect the leaves and know where your hay is coming from and that it isn’t diseased. You don’t want to introduce any bad stuff to the soil. Look for mildew on leaves, etc.
- Add compost of manure to your garden beds before your first freeze. This way the nutrients in the soil will be ready to feed your growing garden in the Spring.
Benefits from Winterizing Your Garden Beds
We have an overabundance of leaves on our homestead, and we take advantage of using that for free compost. Often times you can use what you have around you instead of spending a tone of money at the hardware store.
Compost is a secret weapon for the majority of successful gardeners. Adding compost to your beds for planting is essential in adding back nutrients to the soil. If you haven’t already, start a compost pile!
It may take a little more time, but in my experience good things come with time. Make a pile in your yard or get a bin you can rotate and create a compost pile/bin. Collect kitchen scraps and add them to the pile.
Things to Compost are:
- Lawn clippings
- Food items: eggs shells, banana peelings, other fruit peelings, cardboard, paper, onions/peelings, any vegetable scraps, etc.
You DO NOT want to compost things like meat or animal biproducts/waste.
Your garden can use compost in so many beneficial ways to feed the plants and increase your success in the garden. It doesn’t have to be hard or complicated and we can use what we have around us for another purpose. I like to try and be as organic in our garden as possible and let nature do its thing. It is so cool to see how intricate of a system it is and how well it works when you let it.
I hope you have success in winterizing your garden for a successful Spring planting. If you winterize your garden be sure to tag me on social media, I’d love to see your progress!
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Pull Behind Leaf Sweeper – super easy way to get leaves up if you don’t want to rake