Gardening Tips – Winterizing Plants, Shredding Leaves

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winterizing plants/shredding leaves


Saving Vegetable Seeds

From: Lora

If you grow green beans in your garden, leave some of the green beans pods on the plants toward the end of the growing season and just keep them there until they dry up. The seeds in these green bean pods will now be next year’s seeds to plant.

You may not get the exact same variety of green beans to grow but my dad and I have always had a wonderful new crop of fresh green beans from the previous years free seeds.

Just pick the dried up pods before the frost comes, continue to dry the pods indoors, separate the seeds from the pods and plant as usual for the following growing season.


Wintering Over Plants

From: Janet

My Mother always took pieces of her geraniums and planted them in pots in August, only bringing the pots in before we had our first frost. She over wintered these clippings in the basement, then transplanted them out into the garden the following spring, after the last frosts.

My Dad, trained Fuchsias into trees. He would take a Fuchsia and train it up and keep it trimmed so only the top part had leaves. He’d gently tie it to a stick that was as long as he wanted the trunk to be, and this was done in a movable pot.

Then, in the fall, it would come in the house and be kept in the basement until spring. It didn’t get a lot of light in the basement and it only received enough water to keep it alive. The following year, it went back outside.


From: Kootenay

Use mesh onion bags to store bulbs for the winter. The circulation will keep them from rotting.


Leaf Shredders

From: Donna

The best gardening investment I have ever made was to purchase and electric leaf shredder. The initial investment was a bit over a hundred dollars, but I live in a heavily wooded area and I have made mountains of leaf mulch to use everywhere. I usually have enough mulch just from cleaning out the leaves in flower bed areas, but if I need more I have a limitless supply from the woods. 

The shredded leaves are also put to work in my compost bin. Because they are already chopped up, they compost very quickly. I have had to buy replacement filaments, but now realize that I can make my own from the much less expensive rolls. I consider my shredded a wonderful investment.


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Photo By: Chris Radcliff


  1. says

    I have been composting since March and was wondering if I should use it now in the garden rototilling it into the soil or wait over the winter and do it in the spring.
    We had our first frost last night so I have about 1/2 a bushel basket of green tomatoes that I will be making into mincemeat.
    Bought 2 boxes of pears and plums which I am doing now.
    So the outside work is going to have to be put off for a few days until I have the energy and husband home to do it for me.
    About saving geraniums year to year. My grandmother always just dug up the plant and hung it upside down in her basement. Then in the spring she would take it out and plant it again.
    Apparently a few of her grandchildren have them in their own gardens and they are the originals she started with over 100 years ago the year she got married. Not bad for saving money on them. She got them from her mother who did the same thing with hers.

    • says

      You can do it either way it really doesn’t matter. Which ever is easiest for you. Also all winter long instead of putting things in a compost pile Tawra just throws her stuff on top of where her garden plot is and come Spring she doesn’t have to move anything from a compost pile.

      My mom has saved geraniums too. Think she just brings them in their pot and keeps them in the house all winter. I love it when people past their plants down from one generation to another. It is almost like passing down quilts. Tawra has flowers of her great grandmas that she cherishes so much. We have dug up and moved those things from Kansas to Texas to Idaho to Kansas to Colorado and several places in between. Poor Mike has lost track of how many times he has had to dig up or lift and move great grandma’s lilac bush.

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