Everybody knows that trying to grow plants in winter is a waste of time. The ground is frozen and the temperature is fit for neither man nor beast let alone your pretty snap dragons. But is it really? Truth be known, there are some plants which actually thrive in cold weather! Of course, not much will grow in frozen soil or temperatures below freezing. But, there are alternatives!
A perfect solution to the frigid temperatures that stifle so many plants is container gardening. Potted plants have a greater potential for growth. Flowers, vegetables, herbs and fruit can all be successfully grown during the winter months. Some special care may is needed depending on the type of plant and its location. One of the major advantages of containers is that they can be moved. So, when Mother Nature sends a cold wind your way, simply pick up your plants and move them to a warmer location.
Those who grow vegetables, fruits or herbs see some additional benefits to growing in the winter. Stores typically raise the price of these products during the winter following the law of supply and demand and the high cost of transporting cross country. If you grown your own favorite vegetables or herbs, you’ll not only save money but you’ll, most likely, eat better, too.
When planning your winter garden, try to throw in a variety of different plants. Ornamental grasses and small green shrubs provide a wonderful contrast. Common perennials like Astilbe or Caryopteris (Bluebeard) have vibrant colors that will brighten up your day. There’s nothing wrong with mixing vegetables with flowers.
For those containers that you might prefer to leave outside for the duration of the cold season, there are some additional measures that will help protect them from the weather. A small greenhouse can help retain heat. Some hobby greenhouses can be equipped with passive solar systems which can boost heat retention significantly.
For those who are new to gardening, winter gardening may seem a bit unusual but don’t let that stop you. Start with a few herbs grown indoors. Herbs are relatively easy to grow and will help develop the habit of monitoring temperature and lighting.
So, as the temperature outside drops and the days become shorter, don’t give up on your garden. Check on some plants that are native to the area and that hold up well in cold weather. Gather some containers and get started planting. You’ll be pleased you did.