Winter gardening tasks

Published 3:29 pm Tuesday, December 28, 2021

BY MARK C. CARROLL

Fall is waning and winter approaches. As we transition to winter during the holiday season there are number of winter gardening tasks that can make your next growing season more productive and enjoyable. Here are some suggestions:

1. Wrap up Fall chores – typically there is at least some task you may not have finished, check that off your list.

2. Reflection – this is pretty often one of those mentioned above, think and perhaps document what worked well, what did not work, or what would you do differently?

3. Plan next years garden you could include types of plants, available space, and to acquire and use resources.

4. Decorate deciduous trees – since my fruit trees have lost their leaves I elected to decorate them for the holidays. We should all proactively seek ways to have fun with our garden’s projects.

5. Pruning – many trees, shrubs and vines could benefit from winter pruning, not trees that already have buds.

6. Tool Maintenance – assuming you have been pruning and working with your tools the winter is a great time to clean, sharpen and store tools for the season ahead.

7. Weeding – some weeds use the winter months to spread up to thousands of seeds. If you can prevent or reduce the spread or dispersion of seeds, you may be able to greatly reduce weeds in your gardening area come springtime.

8. Starting seeds – It is probably a little early yet for this, since it is so early in winter, however you could start purchasing seeds and setting some space aside to start them. You could save a fair amount of money next spring starting your plant from seeds. Just remember not to put them out too soon and they will need to be hardened off or acclimated to direct sunlight.

Lastly this winter you could spend some time learning more about gardening. There is no limit to the depth of knowledge and perspective about all types of gardening in this information age. A good starting point is the Virginia Cooperative Extension playlists https://www.YouTube. com/c/VAExtension/playlists. Here you can access loads of content tailored by series, like the “Virginia Soil Webinar Series” or by topics including 4-H, Beginning Farmers and so much more. Happy holidays to you all.