Winter gardening tips from your granny

Usually when it comes to gardening, everyone thinks of early spring and summer. But winter is when you really need to put in the hours to make sure that your soil is ready for the growing season.

A lot of winter gardening tips come from older folks who’ve had a ton of experience gardening in all sorts of climate conditions. They’ve seen feast and famine, and they’re a good source of knowledge.

While you may already know about a couple of these tips, you may be surprised that they’re actually real.

Add bone meal for phosphorous

This one sounds kind of morbid to those who’ve never dealt with it. As the name suggests, bone meal is a fertilizer that comes from ground up bones animal bones. Typically bone meal comes from cow bones.

Bone meal helps plants by giving more phosphorous to the soil. Phosphorous is a must-have for plants so that they can flower, and added phosphorous will give your plants bigger, better flowers. Typically, your standard manure doesn’t have very much phosphorous, so bone meal gives the soil a well-rounded diet.

Add 10 pounds for every 100 square feet of your garden.

Add blood meal for nitrogen

The second garden additive is blood meal. Blood meal is dried animal blood that is ground into a powder for use as a fertilizer additive. Bone meal gave your garden phosphorous. Blood meal will give it more nitrogen.

Nitrogen will help you get full, green plants. Or if you want to grow plants that prefer a more acidic soil, blood meal can raise the soil’s acidity. Some believe that blood meal also helps keep some animals away, such as deer and squirrels.

Be sure that you follow instructions and don’t add too much nitrogen, as this could damage your plants.

Throw ashes in the soil

If you’re burning wood in your outdoor chimney, spread some of the wood ash in your garden soil. Wood ash contains small amounts of several different nutrients that are good for your garden.

As with the blood meal, don’t overdo it with wood ash. Wood ash is acidic and can make your soil too acidic with overuse.

Don’t forget your standard winter garden maintenance

These tips aside, don’t forget the basics. Soak your plants with water before a hard freeze to prevent them from dying, rake the leaves for composting and turn your soil over to churn up all of those helpful nutrients.

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