Tips For Winning Yard Of The Month During Colder Months
There’s no reason fall or winter weather should send your green thumb into hibernation, bringing your planting and gardening season to an end. There’s plenty you can do to keep color in your yard, or maintain a tasty vegetable garden even with snow on the ground. You can have a vibrant yard during the colder months whether you work with plants in the yard, or in pots and planters on a porch or patio. And you can be as active or creative as you want in the process. Here are a few tips and things to know to get you started and keep you going till spring and summer return.
Be in Your Zone
The United States Department of Agriculture divides the country into what it calls hardiness zones. They’re defined by average minimum temperature for a particular area. You should always be mindful about what types of shrubs, trees, flowers and garden vegetables you plant. Knowing what zone you’re in will help you identify plants that will survive – and thrive – where you live. Check out GardeningKnowHow.com, where you’ll find a link to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Plant Hardiness Zone Map for the entire U.S. There are also links to detailed zone maps for all 50 states.
Just because you live where it’s cold during the fall and winter seasons, when the sun doesn’t shine as long or as often, and the clouds hang around longer, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful, colorful yard. Once you know the zone where your home is located, you can look for plant varieties suited to your area and colder temperatures. Plants that can add color and even flowers to your yard. Many of them don’t even require a lot of maintenance.
Here are five plant ideas from the Organic Authority, shrubs that are also available in dwarf varieties so they’re suitable for the yard, balcony and porch gardens:
- Witch Hazel with blooms that look like “tiny firecrackers”
- Japanese Pieris stays glossy and green all year round
- Winter Jasmine has stalks that produce white and yellow flowers December to June
- Burning Bush turns a bright rich red in the winter
- Winterthur has red leaves accented with pink and then blue berries
You don’t have to shut down your vegetable garden as the colder months close in and the temperatures drop. Some of the most popular – and tastiest – vegetable varieties will do just fine. Some you can plant for harvesting in the late spring and summer. Others you’ll be able enjoy throughout fall and winter. Here are the Top 10 Vegetables to Grow Over Winter as recommended by garden experts Thompson & Morgan:
- Onions and Shallots
- Spring Onions
- Perpetual Spinach
- Broad Beans
- Winter Salad
- Pak Choi
Spread the Mulch
Mulch can serve a valuable role in your garden and landscaping throughout the year. In the summer it’s great for weed and pest control, conserving soil moisture to reduce water use, and adding nutrients to the soil. In the winter, mulching helps prevent the soil from drying out. Fall and winter months can be especially dry causing the ground to loose water through evaporation. Mulch can help to prevent frost from damaging roots and bulbs. It also provides a protective layer for beneficial bugs and insects living in the soil. Visit aboutHome.com to learn more about Winter Mulching in Cold Climate Gardens.
Protect You Plants from Freeze and Frost
A freeze happens when temperatures drop below 32 °F, which can freeze the water inside the plant and destroy the plant’s cells. Frost is when the air temperature comes close to freezing, and only the surface temperature of a plant freezes.
To protect your plants, the most important step is to keep a close eye on the weather reports so you’re ready before the temperature drops.
- Bring your potted plants inside
- Water plants before it freezes to help keep them from drying out
- Cover smaller, delicate plants with a bucket or flower pot
- Cover or wrap large plants like shrubs and trees with fabric like burlap or even old bed sheets
- Uncover everything in the morning or once the temperatures warm up
To learn more about freeze and frost, what different types of plants can tolerate, and more details on protecting your plants, visit Today’s Homeowners.
For many people, working with the plants in their yard and garden is one of the most rewarding parts of homeownership. Remember, first check the zone where your house is before committing to certain plants, especially if you plan on moving to a new part of country. And even if you make a long-term commitment to staying where you are by refinancing your home. For either plan, always remember you can contact a PrimeLending Home Loan Expert who is ready to help.
From the PrimeLending blog by Michael Nevin