For someone who loves being outdoors and spending time in the yard and garden, winter can be a boring season. No plants are growing and you have to wait for months before you can get back into the soil again. Here are 5 activities you can enjoy while waiting for the next gardening season:
1 Plan for Next Year
This can be the big activity that keeps die-hard gardeners happy until spring: organizing and making garden plans for next year. Rough sketches and drawings can help you visualize new garden plots or new landscaping ideas, and you can spend time researching some new plants to try. Seed companies send out the catalogs in the winter so you can browse and daydream about seeds before spring.
2 Move Indoors
You can always keep your green thumb active during the winter by managing a few houseplants. How many plants you have growing inside is up to you, from a few flowering plants in a sunny window or maintain a rack of lights for a complete indoor winter garden.
Lights on timers can create a “full day” of light for plants, meaning you can grow a lot of things inside no matter how short the natural day is outside. That goes for flowering plants as well as leafy greens and some of the smaller vegetables.
3. Protect Your Garden
Though you can’t really be out there digging and planting, you shouldn’t turn your back on your garden plot altogether during the winter months. Damage can still be done by winter animals, like hungry deer. Be alert to pests in the yard, and take some preventative measures like setting out deer repellent packs around your yard boundaries to keep them out.
Take a walk around the garden periodically to monitor how things are going, so that you don’t miss an ongoing problem that results in a disaster by spring.
4. Start Your Seeds
Technically this is a task for early spring but it can be part of your late-winter activities depending on which plants you are starting. You can get your garden off to a strong start by starting seedlings in the house for later transplant.
It’s a lot like the earlier tip on growing inside, except you just start your seeds a few weeks before their outside planting dates so you can give your plants a head-start. Do a little research though. Some plants do not do well as transplants.
5. Keep Composting
While perhaps not an enjoyable activity, you should remember to keep adding to your compost bin even during the cold winter months. You may not have any yard waste to dump, but go ahead and keep adding all your kitchen scraps. It won’t decompose down during the winter, so make sure you make space in the bin during the fall. By spring, you’ll have a good supply of organic material ready to start composting.