The idea of gardening in the fall or winter doesn’t seem too daunting if you live in California, Texas or maybe Florida. But here in the Northeast, most people might ask, “What’s the point?”
A lot of people see the fall and winter as a time to just pack it up until spring. Surprisingly however, if you’re the type that feels the allure of having something in the garden to look at, and which perhaps might help to attract those long sought-after colorful birds of winter, you might be relieved to know there are ways you can keep your garden magic alive even in the depths of winter.
The secret to garden enjoyment in winter is just a little strategy. Fall and early winter are a great time to plant bulbs. Bulbs can often be the first flowers to bloom in late winter and early spring. Some of the best bulbs for planting in the fall and winter include daffodils, day lilies, iris, and, famously, tulips, which are widely celebrated in our region because of the Dutch settlers of early New York and Fort Orange.
There are also a number of options for planting ornamental plants in the fall that thrive in winter, and which will add color to your garden in the winter months. The secret is to plant them in the fall. Holly is an obvious choice here. It sports very colorful, crimson berries and is a festive plant to have around for the holidays. Other options include Junipers and other evergreens.
If you are looking to get your hands in the dirt, try growing houseplants, windowsill gardens and some of your favorite herbs. To effectively grow plants indoors, choose a spot that gets plenty of sunlight, and use terrarium to trap the sun’s heat and keep in valuable moisture. Still another option for winter gardeners is the greenhouse. If you are a serious gardener and have the space on your property to accommodate, greenhouses can help you grow a variety of plants in a controlled environment. Today, there are many companies that are selling greenhouse kits that are fairly easy to assemble and fit just about any budget.
Winter is an important season for gardening in fact, more so than you’d think. Winter is a great time to grow cover crops that will help improve the soil for the next season, as well as for composting. With just a little planning, you can enjoy your garden all year long!