Posts Tagged ‘winter gardens’

How Do I Set Up My Winter Gardens?

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

Winter gardening is possible, though your winter gardens will be a little different depending on where you live. After all, climate makes a big difference in what can be grown where, and the frosty weather and short days of extreme northern and extreme southern climates (in the southern hemisphere) can make it hard to grow much. But you can still have an attractive garden and get some work done. Here’s a look at winter gardening and what you can accomplish.

Warmer Climates
If you live in a warmer area, like southern California, the weather gets chilly in the winter, but it doesn’t get cold. Crisp but frost free winters allow you to plant beets and carrots, kale, cabbages, asparagus, and both leaf and head lettuces. You can also start some varieties of onions, sweet peas, and other plants during the winter. Flowers can be started from seed during winter as well. Consider lobelia, calendula, nasturtium, salvias and many others. If you care for them correctly, they’ll be beautiful for months. You can even plant a few spring flowering bulbs during early winter, though most should be planted during the fall.

For those who’d like fast results in warmer climates, cool weather bedding plants are a great choice. They’ll liven up your winter gardens and keep you going till spring. A few options include pansies, carnations, ornamental cabbages, petunias, snapdragons, coreopsis and many others. Take a little time to check out information on the available plants and get to it. Winter gardening can be a lot of fun, especially if you live where it’s relatively warm.

Cooler Climates
It’s harder to get as much done in areas where the weather is colder and the hours of sunlight are shorter, but that doesn’t mean you have to skip out on winter gardening. Even in areas that get deep snow cover, you can create a structured garden that will look pleasing to the eye. Remember – your flowers are likely to be buried in snow, so it’s the larger plants that will liven up your winter gardens. Lay out paths between your planting beds and have a plan to keep them free from ice and snow. Cut back your annuals, and use perennials to provide interest. Place trees and shrubs with attention to what they’ll look like with no leaves and with a wintery backdrop.

Color can be a part of your winter garden, too. Trees like red twigged dogwood will offer a bright patch even when the leaves are gone. Certain types of rough barked or peeling barked trees can offer interesting texture, and don’t forget about shape. Some trees and bushes are tall and thin, while others are rounded, spreading, or weep like willows. Take the time to think carefully about your winter gardening layout, and you’ll have an attractive scene even when the world is buried in snow. 😉

Winter Garden

Winter Garden

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