Want to get outside and do some winter gardening?
As you begin to prepare your garden for a winter slumber, it is good to have a plan, since not everything that needs to be done can be accomplished in one short day.
Now is the time to divide perennial plants, if you haven’t gotten around to it already.
Dig up all of your remaining root crops and store them properly, anticipating the cold weather that is to come. Bring all those crisp cabbages in and make a crunchy sauerkraut! Parsnips can be turned into an excellent wine and potatoes will last all winter when kept in a mild temperature in the dark.
If the ground is not yet frozen, you can still plant garlic and shallots for harvesting early next summer – make sure to plant them about 2” deep and then mulch them with those leaves you are raking in other parts of the yard.
Depending on your planting zone, there may still be time to plant a beneficial cover crop such as hairy vetch or purple clover.
If you are planning on buying a live Christmas tree, it is best to pre-dig the hole before the soil freezes – a little work now saves your back after the holidays!
When the bulk of the garden work is done, it is time to take care of your tools. Wash, sharpen, repair and oil your hoes, shovels and rakes, so that they are fit for work in spring. You will also want to take the time to drain and store your garden hoses, plugging the ends with a scrap of fabric, so that they do not become a winter home for small creatures.
Before you put all your tools away, remember to plant your flower bulbs! Come April and May, your garden will be alive with daffodils, tulips and hyacinths. If roses are your thing, the bare-root stock can be planted at this time – even if you forget what color the blossoms are supposed to be, it will be a pleasant surprise when they finally show their lovely petals!
What gardening chores are left for you this month?