Gardeners don’t stop being gardeners just because winter arrives. By mid December, the new seed catalogs arrive in the mail promising hours of dreaming and planning for any gardener worth his weight in soil. But, until the new catalogs arrive, there are other things you can do during the winter to prepare for next years’ adventure in growing.
Shop for Supplies
Now is a good time to shop for supplies, as they are likely to be on deep discount or thrown in clearance bins. One of the biggest bargains you will find in mid winter is plant pots, window boxes and containers that can be used for herb gardens or to display that prized flower. But, don’t overlook gardening tools. Trowels, gloves and rakes often go on sale to prepare for the new season’s goods.
Don’t limit yourself to those labeled for gardening. Watch sales for plastic bins, boxes and unusual containers you can transform into a work of art in your garden. Now that you have plenty of time on your hands, hand painting old containers to meet your gardening style is a wonderful way to spend the afternoon. New paint designed to spray plastic makes updating buckets and bins a snap and leaves a clean smooth finish.
Make Trellises and Arbors
Winter is also a convenient time to make those arbors, trellises and other garden art you’ve been dreaming about. Why not set aside a section of your workshop for the soul purpose of garden art. Bamboo stakes, natural branches or slender cuts of wood all provide the makings for one-of-a-kind garden structures that will enhance the beauty of your garden.
If you are artistic, now is the time to try that metal art sculpture that is sure to stand out in your garden. Use scraps of metal, tin cans or anything else you can think of to create a work of art to display in your summer garden.
Seed Starting Station
Now is the time to set up your seed starting station inside the home. If you are lucky enough to have a workshop or spare room to convert to a mini greenhouse, do it now. Buy the fixtures, hang the shop lights and build or arrange tables so when the time comes to starts those seeds inside, you can get down to the business of seed starting without spending days preparing an area.
Research gardening topics you’d like to know more about. There is a wealth of information at your fingertips if you search the web. Visit University extensions to learn more about particular plants or gardening techniques.
Just because you can’t get out there and dig in the dirt, doesn’t mean you stop being a gardener. Planning and preparing for next year’s garden is as important as the actual hands-on care you give your garden all summer. Take some time today and consider next year’s garden. Of course, my favorite way is to browse the latest seed catalog with a mug of steaming coffee-but for now, last year’s editions will have to do.