Winter “To Do” List

It is unbelievably cold and windy outside today, which has me wishing for sunshine like this!

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The weather also has me thinking about my garden while I wait for Spring. This is only the second winter I am preparing a garden. I do not claim to be an expert. In fact, I am very far from it. I really don’t know what I’m doing at all, but I try anyway. 🙂

Here in Pennsylvania, there is not much that I want to do outside.  There is snow on the ground, chill in the air, and all I really want to do is hibernate 🙂 Yes, it’s winter but there are still things that can be done.

Here is my ‘novice’ to-do list:

  1. Plan your garden: February is a time to reflect on what went wrong in your garden. I planted vegetables in the wrong places last Spring, I planted vegetables that I thought I would want, and I didn’t plant enough of others. I love using “Grow Veg” for garden planning. The website is amazing and other bloggers love it too. The website allows ANYONE to plan a garden, no matter how much space you have or how much you know about gardening.  There are videos that teach you how to use the website AND you can get a free 30-day trial. It only costs $25 per year after 30 days. It is worth checking out. I square foot garden and there is even a feature for that!Screen shot 2013-01-19 at 4.41.12 PM
    So I started my plan using the website. I am going to grow more carrots and tomatoes because carrots freeze well and I make my own tomato sauce.   This year I am also going to attempt an herb garden hanging on the fence, but there is not a feature for a hanging garden on the website.  🙂
  2. Pull weeds: This is never a fun job, but just two weeks ago, I was out pulling weeds.  Unfortunately, weeds do not stop growing in the winter. 😦 So, by pulling weeds now, you won’t have so many to pull in the Spring.
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  3. Decide if you are going to start your vegetables from seed: I will not start my vegetables from seed this year, although I may do some flowers.  I discovered that by the time you buy containers, seeds, soil, and take the time to water and control light, it just isn’t worth it for me. I buy all of my vegetables and fruits from a local Amish greenhouse and you cannot beat their prices. (I don’t remember what the prices were, but I think I paid $35 for all the plants I needed last year). It is worth calling around for prices before you begin starting seeds.
  4. Plan Garden Projects: The more you get done over the winter, the less you will have to do in the Spring, right? For me this probably will not stand true. I always find more and more projects to add to my list when something is finished. Here are a few things on my list:
    • Build raised beds for the blueberries so I can control the soil.
    • Build containers for hanging herb garden on the fence. My husband heard about this project and said I am going to have to learn how to use the circular saw and a drill 🙂
    • Create a compost pit (or bin??). I am hoping to reduce my trash, while helping my garden.  I am not sure what this is going to look like yet. If we can change our trash pick-up to once every other week, it will cut $45 off our bill for 3 months, which is almost $200 a year in savings. This is a win-win situation.
    • Buy new garden tools. I found out that some garden tools are on sale right now. I need a new rake and a something that will till the soil.
    • Create garden crafts- There are quite a few on this list (look for posts later this month)

So, there is plenty that needs to be done in the winter when the weather is cold.  Happy planning!

A snapshot of my garden in the winter: The strawberries and blueberries are dormant, but healthy. Who knew Rosemary was so tough? If only I had time to cook! Don’t ask me about the onions. I don’t know what to do with them. They are so little and I don’t want to harvest them.  I am just leaving them there until they either, A. Die or B. Get larger.  Remember, I am still learning. 🙂

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