Winter Survival Guide: Creative Ways To Garden In Winter

By Mary Ellen Ellis | December 21, 2020
Image by James Andrews
by Mary Ellen Ellis
December 21, 2020

Gardening in winter is non-existent, right? Well, it doesn’t have to be. There are plenty of creative ways to scratch that gardening itch, even during the coldest months of the year. Personally, I like to use it as a time to work on my houseplants and to freshen up and create new terrariums, but there are plenty of other things to do with your winter down time.

Winter Survival Guide for Gardeners

When the winter cold is getting you down, and you just crave some time outside with your hands in the dirt, here are some winter survival strategies to keep you sane:

  • Plan, read, dream. Get ready for the next growing season by taking time to read something new about gardening or plants. Dream about next year’s garden and then make a plan to get it done.
  • Clean and organize. This is also a great time to get your tools and supplies in order. Clean out the gardening shed, thin your tool collection, and prepare everything for spring.

Other Ways to Garden in Winter

The above are creative ways to not drive yourself crazy all winter, but consider the ways you can really get into the garden and get things done. Depending on your growing zone and weather conditions, there are some actual gardening tasks to do in the winter:

  • Prune and trim. Use the winter months to evaluate bare branches on shrubs and trees. Give them a good pruning to shape and encourage more growth in the spring.
  • Grow winter veggies. Depending on the climate in your area, you may be able to grow some cold-weather vegetables. If conditions are borderline, consider building a hot box. Try growing kale, cabbage, and brussels sprouts.
  • Plant new shrubs or trees. As long as you can dig into the soil, winter is a good time to put in shrubs and trees, especially evergreens, which you can continue to enjoy throughout the season.
  • Plant anything with bare roots. Winter is also a good time to put in anything that comes with bare roots. They’re already dormant and ready to go in during the non-growing season.
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