For some, the winter month can be miserable stretches of time where we’re given no choice but to hole up inside, keep the fire stoked, and try to stave off the effects of “cabin fever.” For those who love to spend time outside tending their garden, the winter months can be especially brutal. The frost and cold temperatures can make it really tough to grow anything. However, it can be done if you make the right choices. If you’d like to keep gardening through the winter months, here are some tips that can help you battle the harsh conditions.
Pick Your Plants
The key to growing plants in winter months is picking the right plants, to begin with. You’ll want to make sure that you’re planting something that is going to produce in the winter months. Some perennials might survive the winter, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to produce fruit or vegetables. Study what your potential plants will need in terms of temperature, humidity, sunlight, water, etc. You’ll soon find which plants are especially suited to winter growing in your specific zone.
Use A Green House
You’re probably not surprised to see this tip on the list. Greenhouses (specifically passive solar greenhouses). The greenhouses come in several different sizes and designs, and you have to be careful about how you set them up. For example, most greenhouses are built into south-facing slopes, with the north sides being heavily insulated.
Be Aware Of Microclimates
A microclimate is simply an area of your garden with different humidity and temperature than the rest of your garden. Some areas of your garden will naturally be warmer (like south-facing walls and areas that are more sheltered, like around buildings and large stands of trees). These areas are better for growing plants in the winter. Also, areas that get a lot of shade from buildings or equipment can produce frost pockets and should be avoided when planting a winter crop.
Use Raised Beds And Mounds
A raised bed or mound of soil tend to retain heat in the late fall months and they’ll warm up faster in the springtime. Using mounds and raised beds wisely can definitely help extend your growing season. Be careful, though, because they do tend to dry out faster than planting in the ground. Going heavy with your mulch can help alleviate that.