All About Overwintering: What is it and why do we do it?

Overwintering is defined as the process by which you keep plants alive through a cold season. Normally they would die off, but overwintering keeps them going despite what Mother Nature says.

Why overwinter? Flower gardeners like to overwinter annuals to keep them growing and blooming season after season. The same can be done for fruits and vegetables, and that means organic food movements are encouraging the effort.

Overwintering ideas

There are many benefits to using overwintering techniques.

Vegetables: Overwintering vegetable plants causes them to develop earlier in the spring and offer a harvest well before the plants typically would. Plants such as spinach, onions, and beans overwinter well and offer a delightful first taste of gardening season come March.

Indoors: Fruit plants, such as blueberries, lemons, and fig trees, overwinter well indoors and provide year-round fresh fruit at a low cost. Citrus trees such as meyer lemons, can be grown in a pot indoors in the winter and placed outdoors in full sun in the summer. Gardeners always benefit from having a touch of summer indoors during cooler months.

Helping you: Bringing flowering and green plants indoors to overwinter increases the oxygen and humidity in your home. Pops of color, growing life during months of dormancy, and fresh smells are all added benefits to your home when you choose to overwinter.

If you’re a new gardener, the easiest way to get started is with potted plants. Explore steps to begin by checking out the Avant Garden guide to overwintering.

Get the details on overwintering of these vegetables:


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