Speed up your Winter Slow Down

Many gardeners have a hard time dealing with the winter months. What can I do to pass the time till it's gardening season again? Here are a few suggestions.


Sharpen your tools. This not only includes pruners and loppers but also shovels, hoes and soil knives. You can do this with sharpening tools from fancy drill attachments to kitchen knife accessories. Even a simple metal file will get the job done. Practice on the shovel first if you are not sure what you are doing. It is probably already dull and hard to exacerbate. Just remember to keep the file at an angle. Soon you will see shiny new metal!


Lime! Putting out the regular dolomitic lime at this time of year means it has plenty of time to break down and be ready to support your plants by spring time. We naturally have a low pH in the southeast and this should be a yearly to every-other-year additive. Lime dust is faster acting, but messy. There is also a fast acting lime and although good, doesn't have all the nutrients of the dolomitic.


Pruning is perfect to do this time of year. Deciduous plants have lost all of their leaves so you can easily see where to cut. Evergreen plants have slowed down their metabolism so can also be pruned. If you tagged or marked your perennials earlier in the fall, now is a great time to dig them up and move, divide or share them. Just make sure it is a warm day so you don't shock the roots too much.

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Amending clay soils will help your plants to establish faster and grow better. Cedar mulch is actually detrimental to certain plants. Watering once a week for 30-45 minutes is better that watering eve