Winter Planning Process – Make To-Do Lists Happen

By Mary Ellen Ellis | December 26, 2020
Image by Anchiy
by Mary Ellen Ellis
December 26, 2020

I’m not a big fan of winter. Living in a four-season climate, I have no choice but to go through the cold months with nothing growing except my houseplants. I try to make the most of the season by dreaming about and planning what my garden will look like next year.

Planning the Garden – It Starts with a Dream

I’ll admit that I get a little lazy in winter. I go into hibernation mode, doing fewer chores and spending a lot of time reading and watching TV. My winter planning for the garden takes on this lazy tone.

For a month or so I don’t really do anything in terms of planning the garden, but I think that’s okay. It means that my mind can wander, unfettered by practicalities. I find my mind drifting”¦  wondering what it would look like to have sunflowers in that one bed or if I could try growing a little potted salsa garden with tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro.

Make To-Do Lists – Turning Dreams into Reality

At some point in January I realize that I better get going. I’ll need seeds, plans, and more. Here’s how I go through the winter planning process for spring and beyond:

  • Going over the current garden. The first thing I do is systematically think over last year’s garden. I consider every bed and container to assess what I liked and what could be improved.
  • Making lists. I then make a list of what needs changing. For instance, I had a bed with Hostas getting nibbled pretty badly by deer or rabbits. I list that as a problem that needs a solution. Then I make a list of anything new that I want to do, like adding sunflowers.
  • Narrowing it down. That second list tends to get lengthy and a little impractical, so I go through it and pick out the things I can reasonably do in the upcoming growing season. I’m quite sure sunflowers will make the cut.
  • Making new lists. Finally, I make final lists of problems to correct and new items for the garden. I add to each one the things I will need to purchase, like an organic deer deterrent spray and sunflower seeds.

Planning for the next growing season requires a lazy dreaming phase in my opinion. To really make it happen though, it’s important to knuckle down and make to-do lists.

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