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Winter Tips for Gardeners: December to February

December 13, 2010

As I write this my garden is covered in snow! It’s too late to do much of anything with my fall garden.  A few plants remain in the ground; I just wasn’t able to take them out of the garden before the snow fell! 

All hardy plants; carrots, beets, kale, spinach and Swiss chard are still in the ground.  Carrots, heavily mulched, will not continue producing, but may stay “warm” enough to be harvested through the winter.  I’m worried that the beets are a lost cause.  Kale, spinach and Swiss chard are very hardy plants.  I had mulched all of these plants at the base; they may continue to produce on sunny days, although I harvested as much as I could last week when the weather warmed up some.  The greens were delicious and I still have a bag of greens in the ‘fridge that are waiting to be eaten!  As the ground gets colder and begins to freeze, there isn’t much to be done with my little garden than to wait for spring!  

There are a few tasks, though, that I like to work on during the winter months, to get ready for the spring!

Winter Tasks

1. Take care of your tools

  • Do an inventory of your tools.  Repair or reorder any broken tools, visit A.M. Leonard for replacements. 
  • Clean your tools!  Remove dirt and rust with a brush or steel wool.  You can oil your tools with vegetable oil or mineral oil to keep your tools from rusting.  Use linseed oil to protect wooden handles.  
  • Store your tool: Tools can be stored for the winter in a bucket filled with sand and vegetable oil.  Stick your hand tools or spades into this mixture and leave them in a cool, dry place for the winter.  This mixture will help to remove any dirt on your tools as well as oil the metal.    

(Please visit this site in the coming months for more tips on what to do during the winter months, including tips for planning your garden and starting seeds!)

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