While you are trying to nurture your permaculture garden you are also aware that during the winter there aren’t enough crops that can survive the harsh cold. There are several things you can do to successfully plant and harvest some things during the winter, but you also have to start preparing your garden for the after-winter period.
Watering of the plants
If you have lots of trees in your garden and you would want them to survive the winter with minimal damage or issues, you will have to water them well during the pre-winter period. Big trees can survive the harsh cold, but they need to be watered before the winter comes so they can suck up all the minerals they need to sustain that hibernation.
While it is not possible to water them more than they can drink, you should definitely water them more in the pre-winter period and once winter comes, those few hotter days that will eventually happen should also give you enough space to water them once or twice during the winter. If you have other smaller tree plants that are in pots, make sure to carry them into a warmer surrounding.
The more you take care of your plants the more they will survive the cold months. The plants that are taken inside need to be watered only during the mid-day. Vladislav Davidzon has an amazing aquaponics course so if you want to get a better understanding of how that might work for your garden, make sure to check it out.
The winter crops
While most of the plants would be dead when summer rolls around, there are lots of plants that can be planted during the summer which will come out as winter rolls around. We are of course going to be limited, but kale, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots are just some of them.
Make sure to check which ones can be grown in your garden and let them fill out the little green patch that you want to take care of during the winter period.
Herbs in the winter
While many herbs also don’t stand the winter period, some will gladly function as normal. Herbs such as Sage and thyme will go dormant when winter rolls around and will start to awake during the spring time. Rosemary can be placed in a pot and moved indoors if you want to save that little magical herb.
Your Chickens during the winter
Many people have lots of chickens in their permaculture garden and are wondering how do they fare during the winter. While most of the chickens will huddle together if they are cold to preserve heat, you might want to consider placing heating lamps or just regular lights at a few feet above the ground, so the chickens don’t freeze during those freezing nights.
Also, their water bowl will need changing more frequently as it will get frozen several times during the day. So, keep in mind that while having chickens in the winter can be a good thing, it can also be a bit more burdensome and that you will have to adjust accordingly.