South Florida Winter Garden Guide
The colder months of the year are not the time to hang up our garden gloves and put away the tools until the warmer season arrives, there is still much that can be done during this time of the year and even though nature is taking that long-awaited rest, nature will still lend a hand to those of us who see the many opportunities of working in our winter gardens.
What I love about the winter season is working in comfort because of the cool weather and what makes this time outdoors also enjoyable is getting to watch the many wildlife as they move about looking for shelter or their next meal. Below we will be discussing ways to stay busy in our winter gardens as we enhance that winter look and help the many wildlife that needs our help as well so here is what you should be doing in your winter garden in South Florida.
12 Best Practices for Your South Florida Winter Garden
1. Weed Control
First on the list is weeding, and if you are like me I hate weeding because of bending so much but this garden task is a must because what you don’t want is to ignore proper weed management because besides being unsightly and taking away from the beauty of our landscape or garden weeds competes with garden plants for water, sunlight, and nutrients and is a harbourage for garden insect pests and small rodents. Don’t allow weeds to mature and set seeds because this will make weed control far more difficult, set a time to get into your garden and begin to remove those weeds if it means working in your garden at a set time like early in the morning or mid-day for about an hour or two twice or three times a week base on your weed issues will bring control. It’s best to always hand weed while the weeds are still small. When removing weeds by hand don’t just pop the head which will defeat the purpose of why you’re weeding. Remove the entire weed including the roots, a garden hoe is a great tool for weed removal, if the task of weed removal from your garden is a big job then seek getting help.
2. Garden Debire Removal
If you fell behind in your fall clean up don’t sweat it, it’s still time to give your garden a good raking, the removal of leaves is so important because a build-up of wet matted leaves will not only encourage disease but garden insects pest will overwinter in the leaf litter and will resurface with the return of spring. A great way to get a jump start on these garden pests is the removal of their (leaf Litter) harbourage.
3. Tree Pruning
There are many garden plants that are a lot easier to prune during this time of the year because of the loss of leaves, but once the warmer season returns new leaves will emerge. These species of plants are known as deciduous and make pruning a breeze giving you a clear view of what to prune. Before carrying out pruning procedures ensure that your pruning tools are sterilized and well-sharpen. Depending on the thickness of the limb may require a hand pruner, lopper shears or a pruning saw.
4. Planting Winter Bulbs
During the colder months, we can use that much need colors that will provide some cheer as we work outdoors, having splashes of colors here and there in our winter gardens can be really amazing. Some winter bulbs which can be installed are daffodils, winter aconite, glory of the sun, Siberian squill, tulips, eastern cyclamen, early bulbous iris, hyacinth, etc. there are so many of these winter beauties to choose from.
5 . Planting Winter Vegetables
Perhaps you may want to go with edible plants, this time of the year also provides the opportunities to grow many of our favorite edible plants, veggies such as kale, parsnips, cabbages, leeks, broccoli, spinach, brussel sprout, parsley, and many others are hardy vegetables that can withstand the colder months. Growing your very own homegrown veggie is a great way to eat healthy while growing fresh.
6. Providing Food for Wildlife
This is a pretty cool one that is providing food for wildlife, during the winter months food can become scares for many wildlife but the good news is we can help to make this time of the year more fruitful for them. What about considering putting out 2 or 3 birdfeeders with birdfeed? I am sure that your feathered friends will love you for this and what better way to have your garden come alive so to speak with beautiful birds as they feed and move about? Adding a birdbath can also help in making your garden more inviting including heightening your experience as you watch them. This is a great pastime for kids as well as adults.
7. Chipmunks and Squirrels
8. Letting your ornamental Grass Go to Seed
If possible avoid cutting back your ornamental grasses and other plants because once your garden beauties set seeds will provide food for birds and other wildlife.
9. Growing an Indoor Herb Garden
Homegrown herbs are some of my favorites, I just love to take in the pleasant fragrance of freshly cut herbs, consider growing an indoor herb garden that way you will have an almost endless supply of fresh herbs that will fill your kitchen with such delightful aromas as you enjoy their flavors.
10. Starts Seeds Indoors
Get a jump start on the season by starting seeds indoors so when the warmer season returns you will be all set to move your seedlings outdoors to reap a bountiful harvest. Vegetable crops such as onions, peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, radishes, microgreens and so many more will keep you busy indoors all winter long as you prepare for the spring and summer months. Once you have purchased your seed package follow the directions for proper growth and best practice.
11. Brush Up on Your Garden Skills
Brush up on your garden skills and learn something new from reading garden literature (books), I love learning because there is so much to learn. Someone once told me “to never stop learning because learning never stops” and this is so true. The new skills that you learn during the winter months as you spend time reading can be implemented in your garden once the warmer weather returns which can create a different exciting experience for you.
12. Garden Tool Cleaning
Our garden tools go through so much because of their use, now that they are not being used much now why not clean them and repair what needs fixing so when we reach for them again they can go to work for us making our garden task much easier.
The final word on what to do in my winter garden in South Florida
As you can see from this list there are so many things that can take place in your garden during the winter time, although the weather has dipped as we pull out our winter attire we can make spending time in our gardens just as much fun during the warmer months. Why not consider working in your garden you will be so happy with the results as you are awarded with all nature has to offer during this time of the year. There are so many more that can be added to this list, what are your thoughts?
About the author
Norman loves being in the garden, both at home and for his job....
he is 'Natures Little helper' being outdoors, growing his vegetables and flowers from an early age.
Now having spent over 22 years in the profession he want to give some of his knowledge to others...
his vast array of hints and tips you will find scattered over this site will help you no end growing plants in your garden.