Cold Comfort: the up side of winter
This week’s really, really cold temperatures has me stuck indoors for hours. Sucks. But it got me thinking, is this cold weather good for something?
Apparently, yes. The upside of exploring the role of winter in the garden helped me cope with the frigid weather. So, without further ado: the five ways winter helps gardens and gardeners.
- Soil conditioning. Freezing, thawing and refreezing during winter improves heavy clay soil. It’s nature’s way of conditioning soil.
- Chilling requirements. Many temperate plants, including fruit and nut trees, bulbs and shrubs, need the cold temperatures in order to flower.
- Ice Wine! Freezing temperatures are essential in making this delectable sweet wine. In Ontario, the grapes were finally harvested this week.
- Stratification. Many shrub, tree and perennial seeds require freezing and thawing over the winter to germinate in the spring.
- Time. Winter is nature’s gift to gardeners. Really. It gives us time to rest, dream and plan next year’s garden
Hey, winter doesn’t seem so bad after all!
p.s. cold winter temperatures doesn’t get rid of insects. It is common misconception (which I had until recently). The Amateur Entomologist addresses this fallacy.