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Winter Is On Its Way (hooray) – What Have You Lost It?
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Winter is on Its Way (hooray) – What Have You Lost It?

As my fellow authors expound the joys of the approaching summer, let me join with the joys of winter. It is going to get cold. (That's the end of the article.) Can't be, they will never publish such a short article.

Yes it is going to get cold, but this has its advantages, the pests take a rest, the garden less water, and the vegetables that grow in the winter, a change. This should bring joy to the weary lawn cutters, more time to spend on the veggies. Preparations for sensitive plants to the cold, something to start planing for. Lawns height cutting, increase the height, the lawn holds it's colour longer, and withstands the winter frosts better.

The garden will need a good fertiliser, flowerbeds and lawn grasses will enjoy a feed of an organic fertiliser high in phosphates and potassium. Do it now, it stimulates the micro organism and encourages a good root growth, do not worry about thatching on the lawn at this time of the year, it helps contain the heat in the ground.

Time to think of the winter flowers, if seeding begin now, autumn temperatures assist germination and by the onset of extreme cold conditions the flowers are well on their way. Bulbs, don't wait for the onset of winter, place your bulbs in the refrigerator for a week or so. Fool them into thinking the cold is here, and then plant them in the garden, slightly deeper than the recommended depth. The warmer soils encourage growth, and by the time they're exposed to the sunlight it has lost its searing heat.

Mulch well in the beds for the bulbs, they love a good rich soil. And remember when applying water during the cold, not too much, water during the hot periods of the day, allowing for good penetration. Mulching assists in water retention as well as drainage.

Lawns affected by frost, do not die, they merely go into a rest period. It is the cold on the leaves that cause the yellowing, as the below freezing temperatures burst the cells within the leaves causing them to die. Can you get growth from a lawn in the winter? Yes, as long as the root system is deep enough and you fertilise often. Light applications of nitrogen applied and watered during they day, will stimulate the plant's root system to growth condition. Remember the deeper the root in the sub-soils the warmer the soil temperatures. It is only the top-level of the ground that freezes during frost conditions, so light watering in the morning aids in raising the temperature. It is obvious that the water is warmer than freezing point, otherwise it would not flow through the pipe. If it is frozen and will not flow, turn around, don your pyjamas and get back into bed.

Bugs and pests take a rest in the winter, unless they are super-bugs, so cut your chemical applications, and rather apply environmentally friendly substitutes. If cold enough, none required, but keep an eye on the plants, the winter not as severe as normal.

The vegetable garden can receive more attention, start to plant your seed soon. Prepare the soils with good mulch and organic fertiliser ensuring that drainage is a top priority, there is nothing worst than frozen water surrounding the feet of your plant.

As we move nearer the cold times, get ready for the cold, preparation and planning essential, and finally dig in the cupboard for those winter long john’s that will allow you an early morning start. To those in the northern regions, ignore this advice, and look to enjoy your on coming summer, remembering winter is once again, just around the corner.


Street Talk

AJ  

Tons of fabulous tips here, Rob, on winterizing your garden and yard. Since we've finally finished our cold weather days, I'll happily accept our warmth for now. Happy winter preparations to you, Rob!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks AJ, enjoy the summer and the summer garden.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Tracy Cox  

I realize winter has it's place, but I am a warm weather girl. Love the long, warm days full of outdoor activities. We had a gorgeous spring like day here today and it is so nice. For now, I will think about winter later.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Yes Tracy, I love the summer as well.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
AnnMarie  

Great article, Rob. Your tips and advice will come in handy when winter comes around again here. I'm in Pennsylvania in the Philadelphia area and we're heading for spring! Already jumped the hour for daylight savings. Yeah! I have to agree with Heather tho, when it's too hot, turn on the AC!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

AnnMarie, Loved that area, the most beautiful city Philie, spent a week there. I prefer the heat.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Yay! Winter is coming! Rejoice southern hemisphere!! Yep, I love it. Like you, we're looking to the garden without the wilting heat and pests! I love putting on warm clothes. Sure beats not being able to strip more off and being sweaty, stinky and uncomfortable.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Heather I prefer the heat shirt off, bare feet, dip in the pool. The cold, hate wearing longs, legs weren't made for them.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Bit your tongue Rob. Our winter is just getting over. But it was a very easy winter this year. Very little snow and the temp wasn't very cold. This is in Minnesota. Did not get very much snow either. Could have use more for the lawns though. Great article

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks Daniel must admit I it is not my favourite time of the year, I like the heat.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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