Many people think that when the weather turns cold, they don't really need to worry about their gardens anymore. The truth is that whether or not you have plants in the ground, you really should be keeping track of winter bedding. Not only does this help protect any plants that you may have in the ground over the winter, but it will actually help make the garden better for the coming spring. Just keep these guidelines in mind.
- Clean up. While it may not seem like it has very much to do with winter bedding, but the fact remains that simply cleaning up can go an extremely long way to preparing your garden for the winter. Think of it as cleaning up your bedroom before you go to sleep. While you can always go to sleep without doing this basic chore, it can definitely lead to problems in the middle of the night, let alone in the morning when you are trying to get ready for work. Take the time to remove the old plants, weeds, or other items that may be laying the garden so that you have a blank slate to work with.
- Take time to work the soil. Once you have the garden area cleaned, it is time to actually prepare the soil for what you will be doing. Continuing the bedroom metaphor, this is much like making the bed prior to you getting into it. If you will not be using the soil until the early spring (which is fairly common) you can use the time to help reintroduce the nutrients that have been lost. Often all you need to do is mix in some fertilizer or compost with the soil. Use a rototiller to help make the task easier.
- Know your plants and region. Before you start doing any planning, and definitely before you do any type of planting, you need to do some homework. This means that you need to look up the plants that you are planning on having in your garden, and knowing what they require to really thrive. Furthermore, you will also need to know what your region is like in terms of soil, weather patterns, and so forth so that you can plan and prepare accordingly.
- All beds need a cover. Just as your bed at home needs a blanket, your garden should also have a covering as well. In this case, the covering should be mulching of some sort. There are several different types of mulch that you can purchase, both organic and inorganic, all of which will work wonders. Choosing the right covering for your soil or plants will depend largely on what you plan on doing with the area during the winter. Your local nursery can give you some much needed advice about which types of mulch will work best in your particular area, and also which type of mulch or covering will work best with the plants (if any) that you will have in the garden.
Remember that while these winter bedding guidelines are fairly comprehensive, they are still only guidelines. This means that you should feel free to add, subtract, or modify them as you need to so that you can make your particular garden work the best it possibly can.