It’s getting cold outside, but that does not mean that you have to neglect your green thumb. You can still take care of your plants and keep them growing through the winter months if you choose the weather-resistant plants. Here are some winter gardening tips that may help you continue your favorite hobby through the winter.
Box Gardening and Herb Care
Box gardening is just one way that people can prepare for the winter. Experts recommend selecting perennial plants that can survive the cold temperatures of the winter. Here are some of the vegetables and plants that can be grown in a box and survive the winter.
If you are box gardening, perennial herbs are great choices. Asparagus, rhubarb, sorrel, horseradish, radicchio, and garlic are some of the most common choices for box gardening, but some people also choose kale, collards, beets, carrots, spinach, and mustard greens. If you are considering asparagus spears, keep in mind that the spears typically emerge when the soil temperature is approximately 50 degrees Fahrenheit. The plants will emerge seven to nine inches and will produce for 15 years or more.
Rhubarb stalks are grown most often during the cooler seasons in the northern regions of the United States. These stalks are often used in bread, cake, pie, and sauce recipes. Lavender, chives, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage, and thyme are some of the most commonly grown winter plants. The leaves can be harvested, as they are needed for recipes.
The best time for planting any winter plants is in the late summer, this will allow them enough time to get strong enough to withstand the winter months. Create a growth chart from an Excel spreadsheet to track the growth.
A greenhouse is a good idea for growing tomatoes or squash all year around. Most people will plant vegetables such as broccoli, kale, collards, cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussel sprouts in late July to harvest the crops during the winter or early spring. Leeks are another carefree crop that are safe to grow in the cold weather if you like this vegetable.
Keep in mind that fava beans are good cover plants to keep weeds out and may help you during the winter months. Kale does not even need protection in the winter, but collards may need to be covered with plastic. In the winter, you should use compost and mulch as your fertilizer, but do not use too much nitrogen fertilizer.
Proper Tool Care
Always remove the soil after each use. You can use high-pressure water or sand and WD40 to accomplish this goal and rub the tools with linseed oil before storing them. If you use water, do not put the tools away wet.
A file can be used to remove nicks and smooth the edge of shovels and trowels. Keep in mind that fertilizers and chemicals may corrode metal. Oil of some sort is recommended to prevent rust.
Winter Gardening Tips When Living in New Haven
When you’re living in New Haven, you should be aware of the conditions that you’re facing. If you follow these few simple tips, you will be able to enjoy fresh vegetables even in the winter.
Also, take a look at the seeding and gardening chart below to get a detailed look at what can and cannot be grown during this time.