Gardening is a favorite pastime for many people in Arizona and we have a climate that makes it possible to cultivate a garden all year long. Winter in Arizona does have a cold spell that consists of approximately two weeks where the temperature drops below freezing at night. If you happen to live in higher elevations, temperatures can be colder during the day as well, leading to some gardening difficulty. Here are 3 tips to help you protect your Arizona garden this winter.
Cover Your Fragile Plants During Colder Arizona Nights
If you have some plants that are sensitive to the cold, you should cover them on the colder nights with a sheet or a frost blanket. Be sure to remove the frost blanket in the morning or the sun can trap too much heat underneath, causing more harm. If you can bring them inside instead of covering them, you may want to consider that for your winter garden. Larger shrubs, bushes, and trees can be difficult to cover and uncover every day and can instead be heated with lights. Strands or nets of white Christmas lights can be turned on at night and off during the day, or set on timers to decorate your yard and keep your plants alive. It is important NOT to use LED bulbs because they don’t generate any heat, they will light up your plants but won’t protect them from the cold.
Alter Your Winter Garden Watering Schedule
Reduce the amount of water you’re giving your plants during the winter. Your plants will hold more water and since the temperature is cooler, less of the water will evaporate. By cutting down your water usage, you will avoid overwatering (and drowning) your plants and you will save money on your overall utility bill.
Consider Varied Plants for Your Winter Garden
There are some plants that are perfect for planting in the winter. Wildflowers, for example, germinate during this time and grow during the cool months.
Winter is also a great time to prepare your spring garden with long term options, you can plant some bulbs now and enjoy them in the spring. It’s a good idea to keep bulbs inside at night and let them grow until you are ready to plant them in the ground when the weather warms up.
Your garden is important to you. Keep it healthy and growing strong with these easy tips.