In the Midwest, winters are hard for the garden enthusiast making gardening in the winter quite a challenge. But having cooler temps doesn’t mean planning and planting should be set aside, it just means more creativity needs to be involved. Winter is actually a great time to try new things in your gardening world.
Winter weather can create a bleak outlook as the hobby of gardening comes to a halt for those with a passionate green thumb. But with a few helpful tips, your winter can be filled with creativity and anticipation for the spring days ahead.
Snow Helps Winter Gardening
Unless you are a school-aged child, snow is not fun to deal with. But, fresh snow can actually help your landscaping. Utilize your snow this winter by placing what you shovel on top of your perennials.
The snow, as long as it is not contaminated with salts, can act as a natural blanket for your plants. This covering will protect your perennials from harsh temperatures that are still to come in the winter, especially wind and ice.
While the ground outside is too cold for spring seeds, did you know that your house can be a great place to start the seed growing process? Creating a indoor seed garden can jump start the seeding processes before spring even comes.
Last Frost Date
The first step in indoor seed growing is to check for the last predicted frost date for your area. This will help you put together a game plan for when to move your growing sprouts outside.
Planting inside too early or too late may effect your plant during the transition to the outdoors. Having a general idea of the last frost date will help your seeds have the best possible chance at surviving and thriving.
The key for transition is all about timing. When the temperatures are right, leave your sprouts outside for a short period of time before bringing them back inside. Each day leave them out a little longer. After a few days go ahead and place the containers with the roots in the ground in new fresh soil. And of course, water regularly!
The Best Seeds
The best seeds to transition from indoors to outdoors are vegetable seeds. These hardy seeds can withstand tough transition better than many other plants. Seeds used for seasonings and spices are great ones to try during your first time of seed transitioning.
Just like anything else, the longer you practice the art of transferring plants from indoors to outdoors, the better you become at it.
Keep a Garden Journal
Create a garden journal by going online and day dreaming. While planting season is still months away, your day dreaming season can be in full effect.
If your daily hobby in the summer is going outside and pulling weeds and picking off dead leaves from your plants, use this time of year to dream up big plans for next spring. Gardening as a hobby doesn’t have to end when the weather gets cold. There are plenty of gardening websites and magazines that are filled with ideas. Print off or tear out ones that you like and keep a collection in a gardening journal. Then, talk with a landscaper in your area to see if you can make your dreams a reality.
Dream Big for your Garden
This season, don’t let the cold weather keep you from dreaming up big dreams. Plan ahead, plant indoors and use the upcoming snow and ice to your advantage! Warmer days may just be closer than you think.