By Jennifer Poindexter
Are you considering growing a winter garden? If so, be mindful of the different processes involved when gardening this time of year.
The first time I experienced growing a garden in winter was the year my husband and I built our first cold frame greenhouse.
We had a great harvest, but we also learned a few interesting differences about gardening in winter versus the warmer seasons.
Here are a few mistakes to avoid when gardening in winter:
Quick Tip: Avoid These Mistakes When Gardening In Winter
Growing a garden in winter may come with a learning curve. Here are a few mistakes to avoid:
1. Don’t Grow the Wrong Crops
When growing a garden in winter, it’s a difficult fact that you can’t grow everything. Unless you live in a warmer climate, there are some plants which won’t grow during this time.
Do your research about your planting zone and discover which plants can survive the winter where you are. There are some plants (in certain planting zones) you may be able to grow outdoors.
Then there are some which require the protection of a greenhouse or cold frame to be able to survive. Ensure you’re planting crops which can thrive in your planting zone and with the gardening method you choose.
2. Don’t Forget to Water Your Plants
Next, we must discuss water. When you grow a garden during warmer seasons, it’s common to spend time outdoors caring for it and ensuring it’s well-watered.
When growing a winter garden, you may not want to spend as much time outdoors because it’s cold.
Thankfully, there isn’t as much of a battle with weeds or pests due to the colder temperatures. However, you must still ensure your plants are watered on a regular basis.
3. Don’t Forget to Plant In Well-Draining Soil
It’s important to plant in quality, well-draining soil when growing any type of garden. Nutrients and appropriate amounts of moisture could be the key to your plants’ success.
Well-draining soil ensures your crops aren’t left in oversaturated conditions. Plus, you shouldn’t discount disease during this time of year.
Though you may not struggle as much with weeds or pests, fungal diseases still exist in cold, wet conditions. Many fungal diseases go dormant during winter, but it isn’t worth the risk if you’re going to invest in a winter garden.
4. Don’t Neglect Your Water Source
Finally, be mindful of your water source.
The first year we grew a winter garden at our new house, my son was a pre-teen. He wanted to assist with watering the garden and when he was done, he turned the water spicket off.
It never occurred to him that he needed to turn the water off beyond the spicket, though we turned the water on this way.
We woke up the next morning to a broken water pipe and water all over the place. Consider how you’ll water your garden and ensure you take care of the water source to accommodate much cooler temperatures.
These are a few things to consider when growing a winter garden. Avoid these mistakes to find greater success when growing crops during non-traditional times around your home.