Late Winter Garden Chores

enviro girlWhile some parts of the country are seeing their first spring blooms already, most of us are still under a layer of frost and snow.  But even though you’re probably not pulling weeds or planting seeds yet, there’s plenty to keep an off-season gardener busy this time of year.For starters, winter is a great time to prune.  Freezing temperatures means your trees won’t be as susceptible to pests and diseases when you lop off a few limbs.  Winter is the ideal time to prune almost every tree or shrub.  In fact, Enviro Girl has a standing date with a mammoth-sized forsythia in her yard.  She’s bringing a few branches inside each week and forcing them to bloom.  Early spring ambiance for free!

It’s also time for most gardeners to plan for spring planting.  Review last year’s garden first.  What worked well and what failed?  What do you want to try this year?  Planning your spring garden will involve plotting and making lists–and ordering seeds from catalogs.  If you plan to start seeds indoors, place your seed orders now so they’re ready to grow in a few weeks.  Enviro Girl suggests talking to fellow gardeners, too, so you can coordinate your seed purchases.

Enviro Girl uses the calm late winter season to take inventory of her garden supplies.  She cleans, repairs and replaces tools and accessories.

Finally, if you’ve got a big project planned for your upcoming garden season, late winter is a great time of year to get it started.  For example, Enviro Girl and her dad will be building a fence around her main garden this spring.  She’s acquiring hardware and writing a to-do list now, as well as gathering data on lumber and equipment rental.  When the ground thaws, she’ll hit the ground running on that job.

Tell the Eco Women:  what will you do for your garden this winter?


6 thoughts on “Late Winter Garden Chores

  1. It just occurred to me that soon would be a good time to do some cleaning up in preparation for April and May’s planting frenzy. I also need to order a load of mulch, but that can wait a bit.

  2. I have the worst case of spring fever I’ve had in years. I just ordered seeds and seedlings from a fundraiser. I’m already planning my new garden area: asparagus. The big decision is whether to start from seed now or buy crowns in the spring. Thoughts, Eco-women? I’d love your advice!

    • Definitely buy the crowns! Worth the extra expense. The plants will settle faster and you’ll be able to harvest a year earlier. I put in 20 crowns at $5 each four years ago and have had two terrific spring harvests thus far. I’m already looking forward to April’s bounty.

  3. Doc just ordered tomato p,ants! Guaranteed to produce, from heritage seeds, already started. We have had tons of tomato issues due to river water overflowing garden dirt in Irene. We just ate winter collards growing this past Sunday and he has two more bathes before cleaning out all 18 raised beds. I have one or two for cutting flowers, two for herbs, two for basil and he does the rest. Squashes have done very well. I want him to try sweet corn this year!

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