As the temperatures start to drop and we spend more time indoors, those with green thumbs might start to get a bit restless. But while not much is in bloom during this time of year, that doesn’t mean you have to sit idle until spring. If you’re an avid gardener (or you’d like to become one), here are just a few tips to keep you busy during the winter.
Turn Your Christmas Tree Into Merry Mulch
If you get a live tree every holiday season, you don’t have to resign yourself to leaving it out on the curb after Christmas Day is done. Check with your city more town to see if there’s a tree recycling event offered; if there is, just bring your tree or schedule a pick-up to have your tannenbaum turned into mulch. If you have the means to do it yourself, you can either shred your tree or manually break off the needles and cut the branches into small pieces before covering your garden. You can also turn your tree into compost! Either way, it can be used to improve the soil and allow your garden to be even more beautiful next year.
Perform Some Winter Clean-Up
Although lawns typically require about an inch of water each week, your watering days will be numbered once the ground freezes. Still, that doesn’t mean you can’t putter around the garden. In fact, it’s a good idea to do a bit of cleaning up before the season is over. It’s easier right now to remove weeds and debris from dead plants. Not only can this help your garden thrive come spring, but it’ll also reduce the risk of insects and other pests from sticking around in your yard. Just a bit of basic clean-up will be needed to get everything ready for the seasons to come. Don’t forget to put out a bird feeder for your local wildlife!
Start an Indoor Herb Garden
If you know you’ll miss tending to plants and you want to spice up your meals throughout the winter, you might want to consider growing some herbs indoors. Although thermoplastic materials can withstand temperature extremes of up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, herbs are generally much too delicate for major temperature fluctuations. In other words, you’ll need to prepare your home properly for your new herbaceous guests. Not all herbs will thrive indoors and most need six to eight hours of direct sunlight each day. It’s best to locate your herbs near a south-facing window, though you may also need some supplemental light to account for the shorter days. Parsley, mint, and thyme can do very well indoors, while basil may not survive the winter if temperatures aren’t just right. Choose your herbs wisely, pick the right pots, and ensure they have enough light and water. Consult an expert at your local plant nursery if you need further assistance.
Shop For Next Year’s Seeds
With over 23,000 establishments in the floral industry nationwide, there’s always a decent demand for seeds. But this past year set records, according to experts. Sales of plant seeds skyrocketed by as much as 300% after the pandemic was declared a national emergency in March. Sellers have reassured home gardeners that they’re well-stocked this year, thanks to the improvements many have made to their systems in preparation for another successful year. Peruse available seed catalogs and plan to order early to get the best selection.
Service Your Gardening Equipment
Now that you aren’t using your gardening tools and other equipment as frequently, it’s a good time to have them repaired or serviced. Be sure to clean any equipment in good condition before putting it away for the season. You should also consider changing the oil in your lawnmower and make sure to empty its fuel before storing it. If any equipment needs to be replaced or fixed by a professional, take care of those tasks now before you forget. Otherwise, you might remember too late that you’re missing a crucial component when it comes time to plant.
Winter’s arrival may not inspire you like spring does, but that doesn’t mean you have to sit indoors. By taking care of these tasks, you’ll keep yourself busy during the off-season and can make your garden grow even more beautifully next year.