Because of Ohio’s unpredictable fall and winter climates, it is generally the time of year when the gardening gloves are packed away and stored until spring. However, that does not have to be the case. Many leafy green vegetables can be harvested throughout the year, but more cautionary actions have to be made to keep the plants from dying during the cold months. Luckily, a greenhouse isn’t even necessary to keep producing crops through the winter!
The most successful greens you can harvest in the cold include spinach, arugula, kale, and leaf lettuce. To retain as much warmth as possible in the bed, it’s best if the seeds are planted in a raised flower garden. The tight space can retain the heat in a smaller area per square foot. Each crop is different, but planting can begin as early as mid-August and go through October to yield crops during the height of winter. A key indicator of when the crops will be ready to eat is comparing the temperature in fall. A warm fall yields greens sooner, and a cooler autumn will delay the growing process. It is best to have some trial and error years until you can grasp the best growing conditions for each type of green.
The key to crop survival is coverage. If you don’t have a green house, temporary shields are the path you will want to take. One of the easiest manmade covers is simply to place thick plastic sheeting over the entire bed, and secure it down with stakes or heavy rocks. Remember, the plastic must be able to be moved depending on growth area and to pick the ripe crops. Plastic can potentially harm the leaves of each plant so it’s important to make it a tent-like feature to hold the “roof” of the overlay high enough over the greens.
The weather is the overall deciding factor on whether or not you will be able to harvest a steady crop throughout the winter, but it is not to be discounted, it is possible! We advise you to talk to greenhouse or nursery expert to decide which crops and growing technique will suit your needs best. Be sure to contact Jones Topsoil for all of your winter gardening, and spring planting needs!
We work all year maintaining and caring for our gardens, so it’s important not to let all of that hard work go waste in the winter. While very few plants grow in Ohio in January, for the ones that do, it is important to take proper care so that once spring hits, you can easily jump back into it.
At some point this winter, we will get our famous Columbus, Ohio snow that comes out of nowhere and hangs around unwelcome for weeks. That is the perfect time to care for your ornamental plants and trees. After the snowfall, dust the snow off of ornamental shrubs and bushes, and tree branches that can be safely reached. It is common for a branch or two to break during a storm, so it is important to get it pruned off immediately following a storm to prevent peeling or cracking further.
Heavy ice is also something we often face in Columbus, and our shrubs and trees take the brunt of it. As tempting as it is, don’t pull icicles or break ice off of leaves or branches. The plant is highly susceptible to breakage when covered in ice, so it is best to let it melt off naturally.
As fun as it is to sled down the big hill in the back lawn and run around in the fresh snowfall, it could actually be damaging the ground underneath. Traction tears the healthy grass out from the soil causing patches of bare areas. It is important to be cautious of the foot traffic on the ground when ice and snow are covering it. As an alternate, use sand, birdseed or sawdust to help gain traction overtop the ice on the path leading to the house.
For more information about protecting your garden in winter, more winter gardening tips, or to plan your spring planting and gardening, contact the professionals at Jones Topsoil or give us a call! We are here for all of your soil and gardening needs.
Comments Off on Why add lime to soil?
If your garden looks pale and has dead patches or if the grass blades are yellowing and if you don’t see any fungus, insects or grubs then you should think of adding lime.
The best soil for your lawn is with neutral pH. pH is the quantity of hydrogen ions present. This usually determines the nutrients available to plants which tends to become acidic over time. The best way is to test your soil by using the pH testing kit from your local nursery.
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