The Winter Garden

At this time of year, many of us take the opportunity that the weather provides to finally wear layers, start fires and cook soups and stews. Deciduous plants have dropped or are the process of dropping their leaves. Generally, when a plant goes dormant it is a good time to prune. If you have dormant plants (Stone fruit, Pomegranates, Mulberry, Figs, Grapes, etc) or generally any plant that has finished flowering and fruiting, like citrus, you also might like to give them a prune. Plants are often pruned after they have fruited.

When starting out, after your adoption of another family member, your new tree or shrub will need an establishment period. This establishment time period is different for every plant. It will all depend on the health of your plant, soil and suitability of the location. A normal time frame would be 2-3 years. During this time it is a good idea to encourage healthy root systems and strong stem growth over early flowering and fruiting. Use appropriate training techniques to help maintain a good size and shape with pruning used as a supplement and supporting role, not the main focus. With good training and supplement pruning in the establishment periods, the need for ongoing pruning is reduced.

Winter is also a wonderful time to create and plant out gardens. The cooler weather makes the days a perfect time to be out playing in the garden. And plants that are planted out have time to adjust to their new homes before the spring heat. So have an amazing winter and be sure to enjoy the seasonal changes. Remember healthy soil, healthy plants and healthy plants, healthy harvests. Happy growing everyone.

Happy growing everyone.

 By Joshua van Veen

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