You’ve just shoveled a foot of snow from your driveway and crouched down to feel the cold frost covering your garden. What a drag! For anyone with a green thumb winter can be a downer. Fight your gardening withdrawal - we’ve compiled some winter gardening tips so you can bring some plants to life and stay active outside this winter:
Hardy Vegetables Can Grow All Winter Long
Don’t assume that you have to prep your vegetable garden to hibernate when the first snow falls. Many summer crops like tomatoes or peppers are out of the question, but consider planting hardy varieties of vegetables that thrive in the winter.
Not sure where to start? All of these vegetables will be ready to harvest during the winter, and provide the perfect base for a warm stew: Brussel sprouts, kale, lettuce, broccoli, carrots, radishes, beets, onions, and turnips. Conduct a search online to determine which varieties of each plant are optimal for winter. For example, the Walla Walla variety of onion is best for cold climates.
Your Region Determines Your Ideal Crop
Gardens are not one-size-fits-all. Your winter garden in rural Georgia will have different conditions than one in upstate New York. Luckily, there’s a handy guide for all of us dedicated gardeners around the country - the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.
This map divides up the country according to zones separated by average low temperature in the region. Based on your zone you can determine what crops to plant, and when to plant them. Zones 1 through 3 are sadly too cold for year-round planting; winter garden plants are not recommended in these areas.
Compost Bins Are Rewarding Winter Projects
When temperatures are low the smell emanating from compost bins is minimal - if you’re anxiously seeking a winter project to get you out in the garden look no further! Simply stop by your local garden supply store and pick up some extra pallets to construct your bin. Most stores will be happy to donate excess pallets.
Using these pallets you can construct a basic three-bin turning unit with basic carpentry skills. These compost bins will help you break down plenty of yard and kitchen waste, yielding plenty of first-rate compost for your spring gardening.
Invest in Proper Gear
When exposed to the elements you can’t afford to use shoddy gloves or boots. Proper gardening gloves will deliver great mobility and hug your fingers while keeping your digits insulated in the cold. Many gloves designed for winter gardening will come with thermal lining and a waterproof membrane.
Likewise, a great pair of gardening boots is essential to avoid slips in your winter garden. Our Muckster Ankle boots will keep your feet warm and dry while you’re down in the dirt. The high traction rubber outsole protects gardeners out in frigid temperatures from slipping on the ice and snow. Suit up in proper gear this winter to stay safe while you brave the winter to tend to your garden.