It’s certainly been cold in Minnesota this last month, but it’s going to warm up this weekend and with that warm-up maybe you’ll start thinking about the up and coming garden season! Or maybe not, but in either case, we wanted to remind you of some winter maintenance practices for your garden so it’s ready to perk up again come spring.
Snow Removal: Do not plow or shovel snow into your raingarden. It may look like a natural place to pile the white stuff, but resist the urge! Excess snowpack on your garden can compact the soil and minimize its infiltration capacity. Mark the boundaries of your garden to ensure that snow plows and shovels don’t cause damage. Do your best to keep de-icing salt and sand out of your garden area as excessive accumulation of salt and sediment can be toxic to your plants and inhibit infiltration.
Speaking of salt, a couple of tips:
- Salt is most effective at melting ice when the temperature is at least 15 degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s colder than that, salt isn’t very effective.
- Salt is harmful to our water bodies, so before you use it remember that very little salt is needed to melt ice. Always apply according to package instructions and don’t overuse!
Next Year’s Plan: Plan your next raingarden installation. Use your available time in the winter to dream up your new garden possibilities. Review photos of your raingarden to see if there are any bare spots or plants that have overgrown their space and plan for new plants or dividing existing ones. Need some inspiration? Come to one of Metro Blooms’ raingarden workshops! We’re going to be hosting a couple at the end of February this year so you won’t have to wait long to begin your design.
Equipment Maintenance: Clean and repair garden tools so that they are in great shape to be put to use in the springtime. You may also still be able to find some sweet deals on garden tools at your local hardware store, in case you need to replace a shovel or buy some fancy new gloves.
If dreaming up future gardens just isn’t enough for you, I recommend hopping in a Car2Go and taking a trip to the Como Zoo to breathe in some of the conservatory air, sure to remind you that flowers still bloom and the world is colorful, even in the depth of winter.
Photo Credit: Como Zoo and Conservatory