Winter in The Garden

Many gardeners think that winter puts a full stop in all gardening activities except for raking leaves. This is however far from the truth. Winter is an ideal time to sort out your garden and to plant new perennial plants. This will allow enough time for the roots to develop and spread, by the time spring arrives, the plant is already settled and ready to kick off. Watering should be help back and only water when plants are dry. Remember that plant roots are hydrotropic which means that they develop where the water is available. If you water a little every day, the soil is moist only on the top layer. The roots will develop there, and this will leave the plant vulnerable to temperature fluctuations or even to be uprooted during strong winds. It is therefore advised to rather water less frequently but water deeply when doing so. Now let’s get back to the raking of leaves. In the world of plants, fallen leaves from trees are worth their weight in gold. To most gardeners it may seem like a nuisance, but I assure you it is not. Leaves contain minerals and nutrients that have been brought up from deep beneath the soil by the tree roots. These minerals and trace elements are very often depleted or completely lacking in most garden soils (due to years of raking and throwing away the leaves). So why would anyone want to throw them away? Rather add them to the compost heap. If you don’t have one, now is the time to start, the compost will be ready by spring to add to your thriving garden. If you maybe do not have space, just add them to flower beds or even donate them to a gardener that has a compost heap. Whatever you do, please do not dispose of them in a landfill or burn them. This will only add to the destruction of topsoil and the accumulation of more carbon dioxide on our atmosphere. So, let’s go get our hands dirty in the garden and get that blood pumping in this chilly weather. Afterwards, enjoy a warm cup of herbal tea from your own garden. There are few things as rewarding!

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