Winter tasks in the organic garden
Reducing pests and disease agents during the winter
Finally, we have a truly cold winter in Hungary. This enables us to reduce the numbers of such Mediterranean invasive species as the Southern green shield bug or the citrus flatid planthopper. These pests have difficulty surviving a truly serious frost, so if you keep your garden clean and eliminate their warm havens you have done a lot in order to get rid of them.
During such dry winters as the one in Hungary is now, your freshly planted fruit trees, raised planting beds (e.g. our special raised planting bed) or the freshly planted autumn crops can easily dry out. If the frost lets out you should water them! A few litre of water can do wonders. Of course, you should always take care not to get it on your plants or you might accidentally freeze them. To achieve this you should choose a truly frost-free day for watering and only water with a moderate amount and during the morning hours. If it snowed you should gather the snow from the side-walks under the plants or close to them as the slowly melting snow provides moisture for them and at the same time protects them from the frost. It is important never to gather snow on the weak plants because it damages their tissues and could close away the air from them!
A serious or late frost unfortunately not only reduces the number of pests but can also damage your plants. To reduce this risk you should cover your plants and coat with lime your trees’ trunks. You should never plant frost-sensitive, Mediterranean or early-blooming plants to the spaces which tend to suffer from late frost!