Although you may want to stay inside with a blanket and hot chocolate during the winter, this is the perfect time to start thinking about your spring garden. Many people think gardening stops as soon as the leaves fall, but that’s certainly not the case. Believe it or not, there are many gardening tasks you can complete this winter—follow along for a few helpful tips for preparing a spring garden in the winter.

Clean Up Fallen Debris and Foliage

The first step to preparing for the next growing season is cleaning up fallen debris and foliage from the previous season. You should pick up sticks, trash, dead plants, etc. to ensure your garden is tidy. Although it may not seem like a big deal, excess debris can prevent your plants from thriving when spring rolls around. Removing dead foliage is the best way to give your garden a fresh start once the next growing season begins.

Use Frost Coverings if Necessary

It’s no secret that winter weather and cold temperatures can be detrimental to your plants, but you may not know exactly how to keep them safe throughout the winter. Fortunately, you can use frost coverings for your most tender and fragile plants and trees. Although there are plenty of ways to prevent winter damage in your garden, frost coverings are one of the most effective and simple methods to protect your plants from cold temperatures, ice, and snow.

Apply Mulch or Compost Over Garden Soil

The cold air can penetrate deep into the ground and steal the remaining moisture from your trees’ root systems. With that said, you can cover the soil around your plants and trees with a few inches of organic mulch or compost to protect them and keep them from freezing during the winter. Believe it or not, layering mulch or compost over your garden soil is the best way to preserve plant fertility and retain moisture.

Plant Cold-Hardy Plants

While most plants thrive in spring and summer, many are cold hardy. With that said, you can plant many vegetables—like cauliflower, kale, and cabbage—during the cold months and then harvest them in the spring. If the ground isn’t too solid, you should have no problems getting them in the soil in cold temperatures.

Now that you have a few tips for preparing a spring garden in the winter, you can set yourself up for a successful spring growing season. Whether you’re a gardening expert or a beginner, you can benefit from starting your gardening tasks this winter.