Winter soils are far from dead. Soil microbes are still buzzing around and we need to change our gardening practices to keep them alive until spring.
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?
A couple of weeks ago, gardeners in northern North America were worried about the buds breaking prematurely. Gardeners on social media were wringing their hands in worry. But really it’s not a huge problem. Sure, there may be a few less flowers in spring, but most shrubs and trees will survive. The real problem is the numerous freeze/thaw cycles, which damage plants if garden beds haven’t been mulched.
It has been a weird winter so far. Up and down temperatures, freeze and thaw. It’s the freezing part that worries me. Freezing means having to use salt on walkways. And as I gardener I try to minimize my salt use. Salt damages the soil ecosystem and many types plants.