Posted by waytogrow /Nov 30th , 2015/Plant Health
Just because the summer season is over does not mean you should ignore your soil! Soil health over the winter matters. By setting the right stage for your soil now, you will benefit when it is time to plant in spring and summer. For soil health over winter, planting cover crops can help add organic matter to the soil, fixing nitrogen and preventing weeds from coming in. Crops like winter rye, alfalfa, oats, buckwheat, field peas, vetch, or legumes are easy to plant once you have harvested your garden. It can be turned over in the soil in spring, or added to your composter. If you are trying to overwinter plants like perennials or trees and shrubs, there are steps you can take to preserve the plants and their soil. It is important to keep roots healthy under the ground, as they are the mechanisms that allow plants to come back in spring. Make sure your roots are watered before winter arrives, and protect plants against any extreme cold or warm shocks. Snow is helpful for this, but if you cannot rely on a snow cover, try mulch as a way to keep soil a consistent temperature. Some plants require extra protection, by screening with burlap. Even if you are in a warmer climate you may still need to occasionally cover winter plants with garden fabric if a light frost is forecasted. It’s better to cover your plants than to allow them to sit in the frost, and simply covering with fabric is usually enough to help your plants survive. Gardening preparation and maintenance continues through winter, so do not give up on your garden plans yet. At Way to Grow, we can help you take steps to help your plants through the cold season so it will be easier to get going again in the spring!