WINTER GARDENING – PREPARING FOR SPRING

How to sow the seeds for a bumper crop

During this time of year when the holiday activities have faded and foliage everywhere is bare, many of us tend to get restless in anticipation of the arrival of spring. Master Gardeners know that gardening during the winter (climate permitting) is therapeutic for your garden and your soul.

Getting a jumpstart on planning, prep work and keeping perennials safe and warm during these months will pay off when warmer temperatures arrive with the first buds of spring. We’ve compiled a list of ideas to get you back into the garden now and keep your cabin fever at bay.

Rework your garden design. Were there areas last year that didn’t provide enough sun to some plants and too much to others? Was there wasted space that you’d like to incorporate this year?

Start a garden journal to record your seed/plant orders and keep track of progress on your garden design. Sketch your garden design and decide which plants should be planted in zones based on full sun, partial sun and full shade.

Shop local nurseries for asparagus roots, strawberry plants, and bare-root roses and fruit trees. These can be planted as soon as the ground is no longer frozen.

Top-dress lawns and garden beds with compost and cover root crops still in the ground with an extra layer of mulch.

Sow beets, carrots, radishes, cress, bok choy, and garden peas directly in the garden; cover the planting rows with dark compost to warm the soil.

Sow seeds of herbs, such as dill and parsley in a greenhouse or sunny window. Veggies starts like tomatoes can also be done this way, rather than buying the starts later.

Sow seeds of annual flowers (delphiniums, snapdragons, and larkspur are good choices) anywhere you want flowers for cutting or as a background for other plants.

Feed the birds and provide them with some unfrozen water.

Finish pruning trees, perennials and roses.

Sit back and dream. Your work now will lay groundwork for a gorgeous garden later!