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Winterizing your garden

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -

If you spent spring and summer gardening out in the beautiful weather, you probably aren’t looking forward to winter. Frost usually starts to appear in Michiana around Oct. 15, so Unity Gardens is holding events to help gardeners prepare for the cold.

On Tuesday, Oct. 6, nearly 20 gardeners gathered at the German Township Library in South Bend to learn how to protect their gardens as winter approaches.

“Putting your garden to bed is the best way to get a jump start on spring,” Unity Gardens Executive Director Sara Stewart said.

Stewart and Unity Gardens Manager Mitch Yaciw hosted a discussion-based forum that focused on ways to prepare gardens for winter weather in a way that will help boost garden production once spring returns.

“It’s a lot about recording losses and successes over the season and then kind of planning for next year and then getting everything ready for next year,” Yaciw said.

Some of Yaciw’s advice is to cover up your garden with cardboard, which will help nurture the soil through the cold temperatures, and taking notes of your mistakes and successes from the previous gardening season.

Beginner and veteran gardeners were at the meeting, including longtime gardener Bonnie Coffman.

“I thought it was great,” Coffman said. “There was a lot of different things that come up.”

Yaciw said he enjoys the discussion-based forum because it allows everyone to learn from each other – including him.

“There’s always somebody that has a tip or something and a lot of the times those [tips] will get added to next year’s class,” he said.

The classes, which are free and open to the public, seem to be working.

“If they have another [class] I’ll be sure to come!” Coffman said.

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