Monthly Book Giveaway - February 2023

Gardening #1: Preparing the garden for winter


This is part 1 in a 16 part series: Gardening

Preparing the garden for spring starts in the fall.

It’s that time of year again where we prepare for winter and, because I’m a gardener now, that includes taking care of my gardens. 

I use to just leave them and let them do whatever they do. Now, as a steward of the land, it is my responsibility to do what I can to support that journey in and through the winter months. 

For me, it is important to find that balance between tidying things up and not undermining my intentions by interfering with the process by tidying too much. It is important to be conscious of the insects and of the soil’s microbiome. 

Everything I do impacts my environment. 

Conscious gardening is important - and changes as we gain knowledge and experience. 

With that in mind, I will do my best to gather and implement the strategies shared by the gardening experts. 

Fall Garden Clean-up

  • remove the annual plants from your garden beds, leaving the roots in the soil to decompose, so not to disturb the microbiome of the soil
  • Add these plants to your compost bin
  • Add compost and manures to garden beds, giving them time from now to spring to decompose and feed and protect the soil over winter 
  • Leave other plants and leaves intact, providing homes and protection for those wonderful beneficial insects that help you with your garden all year. I leave most of my yard “as is”. Manicured yards are often not nature-friendly. 
  • Empty rain barrels if you live in an area where they will freeze. I will also be removing plants from my pond, to help keep the bottom of the pond clean
  • Cover your hoophouses and greenhouses if necessary (not all structures are made with winter-tolerant materials).  I will be putting a layer of greenhouse plastic over my hoophouses and tying it down to help protect from winds and heavy snow
  • Wrap trunks of any young trees,  bushes, and vines. I’ve learned this through experience. Hundreds of dollars worth of  trees and grape vines have been lost over the years due to hungry rabbits and no protection used. 
  • Drain and store your garden hoses and be sure to turn off the outside water if there is the possibility of freezing. (And yes, I’ve learned this lesson the hard way, as well.)
  • Prepare the bird feeders that you will be using in the winter months. 
  • Clean and store all garden tools and equipment 
  • Don’t forget your outdoor seating areas
  • Check winter tools and equipment that you will be using 

I’ve checked a number of things off my list but I still have lots to do. But, then, I still have peppers growing in my hoophouse!
- Debbie 

My Hoophouse: 

a simpler life