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How to Prepare Your Vegetables for the Winter

It’s getting colder, which means two things. One, I can start leaving my windows open for a cool breeze. And two, you should start getting your garden ready to handle the cold.

Prep Your Veggies

Keep in mind that plant growth in colder weather WILL diminish. If you’re noticing that they’re growing slowly, remember that it’s normal, and not a sign of neglect (most likely)

Like most living things, vegetables don’t like being cold. on those colder nights, you’ll want to cover them. Old sheets or bedspreads will do just fine. Root veggies like carrots and turnips can survive even the first frost. So they can be left longer than others.

Potatoes cannot be left on the soil surface when harvesting during the cold season. Immediately take them to a dry, warm area to dry out and toughen up. Leave to dry in a single layer, flipping over periodically. This will harden their skin, making them more ready for winter storage.

If you’re uncertain about what to do with your specific crop, search for that crops instruction. Some taste better when left to mature. Others will be best harvested early.

The Garden Itself

Crops aside, there’s a lot you should do to the garden area itself. This includes weeding the area, pest control, composting, mulching, and general equipment practices.

Tilling the soil will help uproot any weeds in the garden, as well as any insects that intended to overwinter. One way to handle overgrown areas is to cover the garden with black plastic and leave in place over the winter season. This will kill existing weeds while subduing seeds.

Make sure all of your gear is free of water. Frozen water is unique in that it expands (science is crazy) instead of shrinks. This means a container of water can burst or break when frozen. overturn any containers and place upside down to prevent ice damage. Make sure your water hose is also ENTIRELY drained of water before storing away.

Cut the grass for as long as it keeps growing. Overgrown grass can cause uneven brown patches next spring. Make sure all of the fuel is drained from the gas canister of your mower, as well.

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