What the heck is there to do in the winter in the garden?
The answer: A Lot! With PNW winters generally milder than some of our other northern counterparts, gardeners are able to safely spend time in our Northwest gardens – even in the darkest of months. In fact, winter is a great time to prune dormant trees and shrubs. Pruning in the winter months means less water & nutrient loss, as well as less chance for entry of bacteria or fungus into the wounds from the pruning cuts (unless of course we have an unusually wet and warm period!). Late winter is also a great time to cut back grasses that you left up for winter interest, refresh evergreen perennials like Liriope, or coppice those overgrown dogwoods. Your especially aggressive invasives like Ivy and Blackberry are likely still around. Reclaiming these areas while the weeds in the other beds have slowed down makes for a great winter project. Mulching after everything has been cut back can also get your garden ready for spring and protect plants in our colder temperatures. You may not see as much need for gardening in the cold season since the weeds are not growing as quickly, but you will find there will be less catch up in the spring when those weeds really start popping out of the ground. So don’t be fooled by your garden that looks like it’s not doing much right now as there is still plenty to be done to prep for the upcoming growing season.