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- Winter Planting
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Winter Planting Tips
You can still plant in the winter. The key to winter planting is determining the usual date of the first killing frost in your area. Planting the winter crops early enough can help you ensure that the plants will fully mature before the killing frost. The first snowdrops usually start to appear towards the end of January.
By February, more snowdrops will appear along with daffodils and primroses. Vulnerable plants should be protected from frost. Get rid of any snow from shrubs and plants to prevent damage. Overgrown shrubs and hedges can be restrained as well.
Perennials can be lifted and divided as the weather improves. If you are planning to plant hardy annuals, it is best that you start preparing borders for it. You can also plant deciduous shrubs and roses as long as there's no snow or frost on the ground.
In colder regions, winter planting is impossible outdoors when soil is frozen. You can try winter sowing. This ingenious seed starting method takes advantage of natural weather cycles. You can provide seeds with a great start on the growing season.
Try sowing seeds in closed yet well-ventilated containers. Place these outside throughout the colder months to allow the seeds to grow on their own timetable thanks to their genetics. If you are interested in this method, use seeds that can withstand winter exposure.
Plants that have the word weed in the name (like butterfly weed) are capable of colonising and reseeding. These offer good options. Seeds that can be direct-sown early or planted in winter, late fall or early spring or are described as resilient are also great for winter sowing.
You can scatter seeds in planting beds once the snow melts or in late spring. If you don't cover the seeds with a small amount of soil, you may lose a few to some critters. Just toss the seeds into the planting bed where you want them to grow. You can scatter seeds for winter vegetable crops such as carrots, kale, radishes and onions. Sage, hardy rosemary, thyme, oregano and parsley can be added to winter vegetable gardens and containers.
Winter annuals can be tucked into the soil during the colder months. Violas, flowering cabbage, pansies and dusty miller can endure the cold weather. Diascia, snapdragon and nemesia can be planted in planting beds or containers.
Watering newly planted crops is also important. While plants won't need a lot of water during the winter season, they will not grow at all if allowed to dry severely.