DIY Gardening Tips for the Cold Winter Months

by Alex ThatcherDecember 29, 2017

Reap the Benefits of Your Garden All Year-Round With These Winter Gardening Tips

Gardening doesn’t have to be solely a spring, summer, and early fall activity. As fall transitions into winter, there is still plenty that you can be doing with your garden to keep it active and thriving. And further, during the cool winter months, you can plant hardier varietals that won’t die after the first frost.

If you want to maintain your garden during the winter months, make sure you plan ahead so that you can get the most out of your efforts. Begin your winter gardening prep in midsummer, so that your plants will be mature and strong when the early frosts hit.
gardening in winter

1) Prepare Your Soil for the Winter

Make sure your garden plot has maximum drainage. October through March usually sees a lot more precipitation than the summer months, so you’ll want to make sure your garden has the proper drainage system to handle that.

Raised beds are a great way to ensure your garden will drain properly. This article from Better Homes and Gardens also has great tips for making sure your garden can drain despite rain, snow, sleet, and whatever else may fall from the sky this winter.

2) Figure Out What Zone You Live In

For gardeners who live in the US, there are eleven zones that span across the country. Defined by the USDA (US Department of Agriculture), each zone is based on the climate of the region. This guide defines the different zones and gives recommendations on what to plant in each zone.

Beets, broccoli, kale, peas, lettuce, and spinach are hardier plants that do well in colder environments. Many of these plants will do fine up until temperatures begin to hit below 35. Once this happens, though, you’ll definitely want to cover them up.
gardening in winter

3) Cover Your Plants Once Temperatures Dip Below Freezing

As you read in the above tip, you might want to cover your plants once temperatures really start to drop. You can cover plants with an inverted bucket at night to protect them from cold temperatures and freezing precipitation. Be sure to remove the bucket or other protection in the morning, or once the temperatures rise again during the day.

Check out this also read up on details on how to keep your plants safe from freezing and dying this winter. This article is especially useful for people gardening with more tender plants.

4) Mulch Is Your New Best Friend

While mulch is primarily used to make your garden look nice and enrich the soil, it’s also a key factor that will keep your garden warm this winter. Think of it as insulation for your soil. A thick layer of mulch will actually help to keep roots from dying due to frostbite. Choose a material that will be easy to remove once temperatures begin to rise again, as you’ll have to rake aside this extra mulch when spring returns.

Find out more about how mulch works to protect your winter garden from The Spruce. The suggest using cut boughs from your Christmas tree as an extra layer of mulch once it’s time to take the tree down.
gardening in winter

5) Snow Is Not Necessarily Bad For Your Garden

When a winter storm hits your garden, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the growing season is over. Snow can actually be good for your garden, as it can keep your plants and their roots from freezing. Make sure you also remove snow from cold frames and anything else you’re using to to insulate your garden space, but be careful removing snow from the actual plants.

Shaking branches and stalks to try to remove the snow can break the limbs which might be more brittle due to cold. Snow will generally melt soon enough that it won’t cause damage to your plants.

Enjoy Fresh Veggies From Your Garden All Year-Round

There’s nothing more cozy than enjoying a fresh-from-the-garden kale stew on a cold winter’s day. Keep your garden happy and healthy all year long with these easy tips for winter gardening.

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About The Author
Alex Thatcher
Alex is a home staging guru who moonlights as a writer. She loves everything about interior design and loves working in the industry. Alex is an expert in finding what makes people light up when they walk into a room, and has made a living by creating interiors that are unique, warm and inviting. When she isn't arranging flowers or making sure she's found the right loveseat for prospective buyers, she writes about her passion — home design.