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Planning Your Organic Gardening Year

Winter

Cold winter months are a time of rest for most plants, but there is still plenty to do in the garden, and venturing out in the brisk air can really raise the spirits.

  • Dig organic matter if soil is workable, such as well-rotted manure or garden compost, into clay soils.
  • Protect slightly tender perennials by covering them with straw or compost.
  • Brush heavy snow off trees, shrubs, and hedges to prevent the weight from snapping branches.
  • Remember to water evergreens, they continue to lose water through their leaves during the winter. Even in winter, sun and wind cause leaves to dry out rapidly. Roots will replace the lost moisture if there is water in the soil and the soil is not completely frozen.
  • Keep off lawns and soil when waterlogged or frozen.
  • Check and repair garden tools. Service and sharpen mower blades.
  • Check stored dahlias, cannas, and gladioli, and remove any that show signs of rot.
  • In windy gardens, prune back the top growth of tall roses and other shrubs to prevent wind rock.
  • Established perennials don't need watering at this time unless you are experiencing a winter drought.
  • Winter watering is important for evergreens that continue to lose water through their leaves during the winter. Even in winter, sun and wind cause leaves to dry out rapidly. Roots will replace the lost moisture if there is water in the soil and the soil is not completely frozen. Water during a warm spell.
  • Make plans for next year's planting. Start a Journal if you do not have one.
  • Some seeds need to get started in January and February, so order early.
  • Use sterile material for starting your seeds. Get the potting mix that is available for starting seeds. Do not use potting soil or garden soil.

Happy Gardening.

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