UACES Facebook Winter Garden Produce
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Winter Garden Produce Tips & Gardening Chores

SEARCY,  ARK - Before you clean your gardening tools and tuck them away for their winter hibernation, it’s time to fill your harvest cornucopia with late-season produce. 

It’s time to pull your onions and shallots and hang or spread them in a cool place like a basement or garage.  When they are dry, you can leave them hanging or store them in an open box for later use. 

Apples, melons, potatoes, pumpkins, winter squash and sweet potatoes also should be stored in a cool, dark place.  Any fruit or vegetable with damage should be used as soon as possible.  During the winter, sort through your fruits and vegetables several times and remove any that show signs of breaking down.

Parsnips can be left in the ground, covered with mulch, to be harvested after the first thaw next spring.  They will taste sweeter after being underground all winter. 

Ornamental gourds should be harvested before freezing temperatures arrive.  Wash dirty gourds in warm, soapy water, then rinse them in water with some household disinfectant mixed in.  Wipe each one with a cloth dampened with rubbing alcohol. 

How do I cure gourds?

To cure the gourds, spread them one layer deep in a warm, well-ventilated area.  Their surfaces should be hard in about two weeks. Cured gourds will last three to four months.  For a longer life, apply a protective coating of floor wax, spray wax, white shellac or a clear lacquer. 

If you’re worried about getting your Hybrid Tea or Floribunda roses through the winter, pile about 10 inches of soil over the base of the bush and cover the mound with a layer of leaves or straw.  This protection is adequate in areas where winter temperatures do not drop below minus 10 degrees Fahrenheit.  In the early spring, remove the mulch and gently wash away the mound of soil with your garden hose.  Make sure you don’t snap off the young, tender shoots that may be present.

Learn more about curing ornamental gourds.

What's left to do after harvest?

Now that you’ve gotten your fruits and vegetables put up and your roses all bundled up for winter, there are just a few more things to do.  After you finish your harvest, clean up all plant material and put it in the compost pile or bag the material for discard.  Unless you have had serious insect or disease problems, turn over the mulch and mix it into the soil of the garden.

Learn more about sanitizing your garden.

For more information on winter horticulture tips, please contact the White County Extension Service at 501-268-5394 or, contact your county office.


By Sherri Sanders
County Extension Agent - Agriculture
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Sherri Sanders
County Extension Agent - Agriculture
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
2400 Old Searcy Landing Road Searcy AR 72143
(501) 268-5394