Winter Garden Maintenance

Mindful Living Network, Mindful Living, Dr. Kathleen Hall, The Stress Institute, OurMLN.com, MLN, Alter Your Life, Mindful Gardening, Garden

You live with your landscape 365 days a year; so there’s no reason running away from winter garden maintenance! Winter can be full of color just like spring! By planting cool-season flowering plants, such as pansies, violas, and flowering cabbage and kale, you can keep your landscape and garden interesting even during the cooler months, when not much else is blooming. These cool-season flowering annuals are perfect for mixing in beds or containers to bring vibrant color and cheer to your winter landscape.

November is a great time to plant shrubs, trees, and flowering bulbs. Contrary to popular belief, November, and in fact the entire winter season, is a great time to plant most all hardy, ornamental shrubs and trees in the South. There is absolutely no danger at all from planting most shrubs and trees in November. Professional landscapers successfully plant through the entire winter! Plants planted during the cool season will require much less attention to watering and care. Too, dormant season planting allows plants to acclimate to their new home before benefiting from the big root flush in early spring. Azaleas, camellias, dogwood trees and rhododendrons are just a few plants that prefer fall planting.

Here are a few tips that will help you with winter garden maintenance:

Lawn Care

If you don’t like the look of your dormant Bermuda lawn and would rather see a lush, green lawn throughout the winter overseed it with winter ryegrass. Winter rygrass will remain green during the entire cool season. As next spring arrives begin to mow the ryegrass as low as possible to allow the dormant Bermuda grass to emerge. A 50 LB bag of ryegrass usually covers from 5,000 to 7,000 square feet of lawn area. To know how much seed to purchase, measure your lawn area(s) for square footage. To determine total square footage, measure and then multiply length x width of lawn area(s).

Planting Bulbs

It’s a great time to plant Daffodils, Hyacinths, Tulips and other spring-flowering bulbs. A good method for planting Daffodils is to hand-scatter the bulbs along the borders of beds, islands or woodland borders as if Mother Nature planted them herself. Plant Tulip bulbs beneath your pansies and watch them put on a spectacular show when they rise through the pansies in Spring! Hyacinths are most impressive when planted in groups/patches.

Mulching

Collect fallen leaves and add them to your compost bin or pile. Making your own compost is very easy and veteran gardeners swear by it. Making your own organic compost involves nothing more than piling up leaves, clippings, kitchen scraps and other materials into a heap, and waiting for it to ferment. Compost is an environmentally smart way to turn household food waste and vegetative landscape and garden waste into something besides a bulge in your garbage bag. Apply mulch around semi-hardy or tender shrubs, trees, or perennials. To insulate root systems of tender plants from freezing, such as palms, bananas and elephant ears, spread a 2-inch to 4-inch layer of pine straw or wood mulch around their root systems.