Winter gardening ideas for you

If you find yourself hanging around the house this holiday weekend, it might be a good time to catch up on your garden.

Yes, in the fall.

In fact, gardening in the winter and fall can help prepare your garden for the spring, says Debra Knapke, a garden consultant in Columbus, Ohio, and owner of The Garden Sage.

“Planting bulbs, going out and weeding, edging beds, you know, it all depends on what your plans are for the next year,” she says. “And that might be the first thing you might think about doing is looking at what didn't work last year and trying to figure out how you can make it work next year, or just throw it out and start over.”

In recent years, it’s gotten more difficult to plan for the spring because the seasons have been “truncated,” Knapke says. Plants also suffer from extreme freeze-thaw cycles.

“It's all about finding plants that are resilient and adaptable,” she says. “And that can become difficult because we don't know yet how all of our plants are going to react to these changes in climate.”
For the next week, Knapke suggests planting any bulbs that may be sitting in the garage.

Bulbs that bloom in the spring like daffodils and tulips are planted in the fall, she says, while bulbs that bloom in the summer are planted in the spring after the frost departs.

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Last year, she says she planted bulbs up until Christmas though she grew mostly leaves and few flowers.

To further prepare for spring, gardeners can keep up with weeding. One winter weed to look out for is winter bittercress.

An infestation of winter bittercress can start from a mere 10 plants, she says.

Tips for fall and winter gardening:

• Beginners should start small with low-maintenance succulents
• Start planting trees and shrubs as early as mid-March
• Bulbs such as daffodils and tulips should be planted in the fall for a spring bloom
• Rake the leaves around plants if it’s really piling up. Otherwise, keep some leaves on top to act as insulation
• Use the fall and winter season to plan for your spring blooms
“It looks like this cute little rosette. It's so cute. And then it blooms, and it has cute little white flowers and then it makes about a million seeds,” she says. “And the next thing you know, you're battling this weed every year … and you're thinking, 'How in the world did that happen?’”
Weeding is a productive winter gardening task, but Knapke says whether you should rake leaves is a more complicated question.
Leave the leaves alone in areas like the woods, she says. Fallen leaves insulate the plants on the ground and help them grow better in the spring.

One exception to that is if there are plants that could be harmed by having too many leaves on top of them. In this case, spread out the leaves so there’s still some covering the plants but not too many, she says.

Once late-March hits, it’s Knapke’s favorite time to start planting trees and shrubs until mid-April, though she does plant them all season long.
She loves planting perennials until June when the heat hits. Once summer comes to a close, she recommends waiting until the fall or late August and planting perennials until around Oct. 15.

“What I try to do is take my cue from Mother Nature,” she says.
For beginning gardeners, she recommends putting succulents and cacti in a sunny window to enjoy this winter.

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Then in spring or summer, fill a vegetable garden with one plant of tomato, chili or pepper.

“Grow one beautiful rose in a pot or in the ground by your front door where you can smell its perfume. Start small and then start adding,” she says, “and give me a call if you have any questions.”
Best Gardening Ideas and Tips for Vegetables:
1. Gardening Ideas and Tips: Fertile, well prepared soil is necessary for a successful garden. The soil should be free from stones and weeds. The soil should be supplemented with good organic matter and soil should have well-drainage for successful home gardening.
2. Gardening Ideas and Tips: Sufficient sunlight (at least 7 to 8 hours) & good aeration (air movement) around a garden is crucial during the plant growth period.
3. Gardening Ideas and Tips: Garden layout should be in such a way that you can move all the sides of garden with ease and comfort.
4. Gardening Ideas and Tips: You are now ready to sow your seeds, Water your garden thoroughly the day before you intend to plant or seed.
5. Gardening Ideas and Tips: When you sow the seeds, planting depth play major role in germination and survival of the pant so, don’t put seeds more than 2 to 5 cm depth.
6. Gardening Ideas and Tips: Make sure to firm the soil over the seeds to ensure good moisture contact for better germination. Water thoroughly using a gentle spray without disturbing (uncovering) the seed.
7. Gardening Ideas and Tips: After sowing in seed bed, seeds require good moisture to germinate, so it is important to keep the soil evenly moist until the seeds germinate and growing.
8. Gardening Ideas and Tips: Avoid Over watering as it may cause root rot. Generally watering should be done depending on soil moisture condition. An inch of water/ week is usually sufficient. Water when the top inch of soil is dry. In case of heavy rains, make sure soil drains out as soon as possible and most of the plants are sensitive to water logging.
9. Gardening Ideas and Tips: As we already said that weeds compete with your vegetables and any other plants for water, manures, fertilizers and nutrients, so make sure to keep to keep them to a minimum. Mulching between the rows will help to control weeds. Keep removing weeds whenever they emerge and make your garden weed free.
10. Gardening Ideas and Tips: Finally, keep your garden clean and neat from all kinds of unnecessary items to make control of pests and diseases.

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Gardening Ideas and Tips #9 – Vegetables Suitable for Home
 Gardening:  The following vegetables can be suitable for your backyard.
• Tomato
• Beans Type (French beans, cluster beans, etc…)
• Gourd Type (Bottle gourd, Ridge Gourd, Snake Gourd, Ivy Gourd, Ash Gourd and Bitter Gourd)
• Herbs like Mint, Basil
• Drum stick (Moringa)
• Peas
• Brinjal (Eggplant)
• Potatoes
• Green Chilli
• Bell Pepper / Capsicum
• Leafy vegetables (kale, spinach, Lettuce, Leaf amaranth, coriander, etc..)
• Cabbage
• Cauliflower
• Ladies Finger (Okra)
• Broccoli
• Carrot
• Radish
• Onion
• Brussels Sprouts
• Beet root
• Cucumber/ Squash


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