Green Thumb: Winter Gardening

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ROCKFORD, Ill (WIFR) -- If you still haven't ventured outdoors to perform a fall cleanup in your garden this fall, it's not too late! Time is running out though as you'll want to complete this crucial task before we receive an accumulating snowfall.

I recently attended a Winter Gardening seminar that covered a wide variety of topics focused on how to take care of your garden during the winter.

Clearing out plants and other debris this fall is crucial to your success next spring. Any debris leftover can be a haven for not only insects over the winter but also for weeds and disease as temperatures warm. Doing a little bit of work now will save you a large amount of time and frustration next Spring.

If you plan to leave a layer of insulation, such as leaves on the surface of the soil, make sure and mulch them to allow better airflow and easier decomposition during the winter months.

If you haven't done so already, consider keeping a journal to log which plants prooved successful vs ones that didn't do so well. This will help you decide what to plant next season. It's also not a bad idea to draw a diagram of where you placed certain plants, ensuring you are effectively rotating crops each year.

Feeling festive? The University of Illinois Extension is hosting a holiday workshop where you can make your own evergreen container, perfect for replacing flower containers from the summer! For more information check out the link attached to this article.

Want to take your Green Thumb knowledge to the extreme? The University of Illinois is gearing up for their Master Gardener Training program which will begin in February and end in April of next year. This is a unique opportunity in which you'll be able to expand your horticulture knowledge while also giving back to the community. Complete details on how to sign up can be found by clicking the link attached to this article.