November ushers in cold weather no matter where you live, but that doesn’t mean your gardening chores are over for the year or that you can’t enjoy some summer-like color.
Gardening experts suggest four tips for winterizing your outdoor space:
Protect Outdoor Plants:
Water the garden thoroughly before the first hard frost. Once the ground has begun to freeze, mulch around the base of more tender plants with several inches of shredded leaves, ground bark or evergreen boughs. Newly planted trees or shrubs can be wrapped with a layer of burlap stuffed with insulating material such as straw or dried leaves.
Just because its winter doesn’t mean you can’t have fresh food from the garden. Greens like lettuce, arugula and mustard, along with root vegetables and cold-weather crops such as kale and Swiss chard, can still be grown in many areas. Check with your local garden store about the best winter vegetables to grow in your region.
Go for Year-Round Color:
There’s nothing like winter-blooming plants to lift your spirits during the colder months. Shrubs like winter hazel and honeysuckle offer color and fragrance at a time when you need it most – and don’t forget that early bulbs including snowdrops and crocus will even pop up through a shallow cover of snow, announcing that spring is not far away.
Bring the Garden Indoors:
Growing bulbs like paper white narcissus or amaryllis indoors is a great way to keep your hands in the dirt and bring some living cheer into your home no matter the weather. Even if it’s too late to buy bulbs, you may be able to force branches of crab apple and forsythia into life by cutting off a budded branch or two and bringing them inside to bloom.