Gardening is a wonderful and rewarding activity that gets us outside in nature as we nurture various shrubs, flowers, and vegetables. In climates that experience winter, such as zones 7 and 8, gardening in winter requires some adjustments after the primary growing seasons of spring and summer. There are a few winter gardening tasks you can undertake to make the most of the colder months of the year.
Winter is actually considered the best time to plant and grow root vegetables in zones 7 and 8. During these colder months, there are fewer insects and a lower risk of disease, allowing the vegetables to grow comfortably and steadily throughout the winter season. There are a lot of great root vegetables that will perform well during the winter months, such as spinach, carrots, beets, broccoli, peas, turnips, radishes, swiss chard, arugula, cauliflower, and several varieties of lettuce.
If you want to plant things other than root vegetables, you can do so through indoor gardening. This can be a gardening area set up in your home, or you could set up a greenhouse to grow beautiful plants year-round. Indoor gardening is also a great option for starting plants that require extensive germination or maturation period. This allows you to get a jumpstart on slow growers so you can harvest and enjoy them earlier.
If you choose to set up a greenhouse, it can be perfect for growing more sensitive vegetables such as tomatoes, eggplants, peppers, and some of the less hardy varieties of lettuce. Test out different plants that you want to grow to see how they do before fully committing to growing them in your greenhouse.
Garden Tool Maintenance
Winter is the best time to maintain your garden tools, especially if you choose to forego gardening during the colder months. Garden tool maintenance is important to keep your tools in good working order, as well as clean from diseases that they may have come in contact with during the previous growing season.
The first step of garden tool maintenance is to clear debris using steel wool or a metal grill brush and then wipe the tools down with a damp cloth. Use coarse sandpaper to clear off any rust on the metal surfaces, then dab vegetable oil onto a cloth and wipe these surfaces down. For the wood surfaces, use sandpaper to smooth out any areas that are rough or beginning to splinter, then wipe them down with a cloth that is wet with linseed oil.
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