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For those who love gardening, wintertime is no match for the passion to plant and grow things. Whether indoors, outdoors, in windowsills, greenhouses, or front porches, there are plenty of great winter gardening hacks to help you out.
Read on below and discover 7 of the best winter gardening hacks of all times! Or, perhaps you’d rather read up on these 16 crazy spring hacks?
Best 7 Hacks for Winter Gardening
Whether you’re tuffin’ it out with the outdoor garden, or you’re caring for plants indoors, these 7 gardening hacks for the winter will keep your plants in tip-top shape this year:
1. Keep Planting Crops
From carrots and kale to lettuce, onions, garlic, and more, there are plenty of crops to keep planting through the winter. Sure, most of the best plants for winter are either root veggies or leafy greens, but, hey, beggars can’t be choosers, right? Besides, any vegetables you can grow during winter are great in most gardener’s books.
Whether indoors, outdoors, or in a greenhouse, keep planting crops during winter, all the way until the spring comes(and then you can keep doing it some more!). That said, if growing you plan on growing veggies outdoors during the winter, the next few hacks will help a lot.
You may also spend late winter preparing for planting spring crops by germinating seeds or making clones from established plants.
2. Add Mulch
Practically anything that you may grow outdoors this winter will benefit from some mulch. Not only does mulch help protect seeds, bulbs, and the roots of established plants, it also helps hold in much-needed moisture.
Apply at least 2 inches of mulch to your plants (even the leafy greens). For large plants, such as peppers that you are wintering outdoors (did you know that peppers can live up to 15 years if properly cared for?) do better with 3 to 4 inches of mulch.
Don’t be stingy with your mulch. Your plants benefit from it, and eventually, it becomes organic material adding a higher level of moisture retention to your garden in the long run.
Learn more about mulch and compost.
3. Add Organic Compost
Speaking of mulch breaking down into high-grade watering-absorbing organic material “filler” for your garden, over time, consistently adding organic compost to your garden each winter is a great way to increase/optimize the quality of the soil.
Depending on the amount of organic compost you have at your disposal, and how much compost you feel best benefits your garden, add between 2 inches and 8 inches of organic compost to the topsoil of your garden each year.
For this hack, it is best to make, or buy, a compost bin or at least designate an area of your yard or garden as a compost pile.
Learn more about organic compost.
4. Give Plants Extra Food
Houseplants, flowers, vegetables, herbs, fruits, or whatever it is that you’re growing needs some sort of nutrients, for sure. That said, during the winter, they may need even more due to the lack of naturally available nutrients in their soil/environment.
However, keep in mind, some plants, such as bulbous flowers don’t need any extra fertilizer or nutrients during the winter as they have stored up all the nutrients and energy they need for the winter, before going into dormant mode.
For this reason, it is best to research how much fertilizer and nutrients each species you care for during the wintertime needs.
5. Take Sensitive Plants Inside (or Protect Them)
It may seem like a no-brainer to experienced gardeners, but if you’re new to plant parenthood, taking your most sensitive plants inside for the winter, or simply placing protection over them, isn’t necessarily the first thing on your mind when the temperatures plunge towards freezing for the year.
Most plants that will live through the winter should be moved into a greenhouse, covered with mulch and plastic, or taken inside once the temperatures for the year drop below 50°F on a day-to-day basis.
To use pepper plants as an example once again, once you’ve mulched them for the winter (or late autumn), place white five-gallon buckets over top of them. With the combination of mulch holding in moisture when you water them, and the plastic buckets protecting them from the snow and wind, most peppers winter perfectly fine.
6. Make Use of a Greenhouse
Arguably the best way to continue gardening, uninterrupted, straight through the winter is by moving your gardening operations into a greenhouse for the coldest winter months. That way your plants are protected from the harshest of the winter elements but exposed to the full brightness and warmth of the winter sun.
Consider investing in an affordable greenhouse that fits your yard and garden, or even building a DIY greenhouse if you really want to experience the best of winter gardening.
If you do have a greenhouse, or live in a climate zone that allows for you to grow outdoors in the soil without the need for winter protection, check out our picks for the best plants to grow this winter.
7. Slow Way Down on Regular Watering
During the winter you need to slow way down with your watering, if you haven’t already slowed down during the fall it is time to do so immediately. An outdoor plant that may require an inch or two of water weekly (or bi-weekly) during cool and warm weather, such as roses, only needs water every 4 to 6 weeks during the winter.
If you’re new to gardening, head over to this Q&A post and discover how much an inch of water really is. It’ll help you out a ton on your watering technique/regiment.
Even your indoor plants need less water during the winter than they require during the warmer parts of the year. However, they still require a bit more hydration than outdoor plants during the winter (because they remain in various active stages of growth, while outdoor plants are in dormant growth phases).
What is Your Favorite Winter Gardening Hack?
From simple tricks like keeping your plants on the window sill, or taking them outside for fresh air once per week, to all the other great ideas listed here in this article, there are plenty of awesome and helpful winter gardening hacks to choose from.
Our favorite is definitely making use of a greenhouse because it really opens up the possibilities for extensive winter gardening activities!
Which hack is your favorite for winter gardening? Let us know in the comments sections below!
Suggested Reading: 16 BEST SPRING GARDENING HACKS TO TRY THIS YEAR
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