Imagine if you could have access to a variety of your own garden-fresh food throughout the entire calendar year, including during the dead of winter. This is the logic behind the practice of winter gardening, which involves sowing seeds during the height of summer in order for them to be ready for consumption by the winter and early spring months. Our team at Bur Han has put together a variety of tips for planning your winter garden this December!
Starting Your Winter Garden
The ideal time to start sowing your winter garden seeds is from late June to mid-July. You want to allow six to seven months for the plants to grow. For specific information regarding times for crops, you should refer to a seed catalogue, which provides details for your local area.
The Many Rewards of Winter Gardening
Compared to spring gardens, winter gardens require more time and space as the crops grow more slowly, yet during the fall months maintenance becomes easier with little need for watering, few pests or weeds, and a forgivingly long harvest window.
While winter gardening does have its challenges it also offers its rewards. From providing more flavorful crops, at a time when this luxury is scarce, to saving you money, winter gardening has many attractive features. Cold weather heightens and improves the flavor of many crops, including arugula which takes on a mild, nutty flavor, and carrots and beets which become sweeter. Winter gardening also offers you access to vegetables often not found in stores, such as purple sprouting broccoli and mache (lamb’s lettuce). Finally, winter gardening can save you money; parsnips and leaks, for example, are more expensive in the store.
Selecting Your Plants
Another advantage to winter gardening is that you can grow an almost endless variety of crops, including:
- Certain types of kale
We recommend consulting a seed catalogue, which lists the varieties of crops intended for winter gardens. For example, “winterbor”, as opposed to “lacinto” kale, as the latter is better suited to warm climates.
We suggest these final tips when planning your winter garden:
- Sow your winter seeds in small pots, instead of garden beds, to conserve space and overcome the challenge of seeds germinating in the hot weather. Moreover, by using pots, you can more efficiently water your seeds and keep them protected, which gets us to her second point:
- Protect your beds. It’s important to protect your beds, especially as the weather starts to cool. You’ll want to use tent-like structures made from clear plastic sheeting, which act like mini greenhouses, increasing the temperature inside and offering protection against winter’s elements, including hail, wind, and rain.
- Save extra spring crops. A final tip to remember when planting your winter garden is to save excess spring crops, which, after being frozen, will come in handy during the winter months.
Seasonal planting for gardens is something that we value, here at Bur-Han. Our expert Garden Care and Grounds Maintenance crew can help do your garden planting. With our best local supplier, we will make sure you get exactly what you need for your landscaping needs. We also specialize in Smartscaping and can help you plan and plant your trees, plants and gardens for low maintenance all year round!