When the garden is dormant in winter, hobby gardeners can treat themselves to a well-deserved break. However, if you are bored, you can pass the time with some projects during the cold season.
Even if the thermometer is purposefully heading for minus degrees outside, there are some projects that can be tackled in the winter garden. After all, exercise in the fresh air is important, especially in the cold season. All the better if you can take care of the winter-proof garden right away. Some activities that were left behind during the gardening season can now be tackled in peace.
- Bring potted plants to the winter quarters
If you haven’t already done so, you should bring all the potted plants from the garden inside before the onset of winter, provided they are not hardy. Citrus plants in particular do not survive the low temperatures. Care should be taken to ensure that the plants are not attacked by pests and that they are not dragging them into the winter quarters. Even a little pruning is good for the plants at this point.
- Maintain garden tools in winter
If the shovel, spade, secateurs and rake are used heavily in summer, this can leave marks on the tools. Winter is the ideal time for maintenance of garden tools – and a small repair if necessary. Is the head of the ax or hatchet still firmly attached to the steal? Does the blade of the secateurs need to be sharpened? And do rust spots form on the spade? If you take care of the tool in winter, it will be ready to use again at the beginning of the gardening season.
- Stow away garden furniture for the winter
Regardless of whether it is made of plastic or wood – furniture shouldn’t stay in the garden in winter. They can be damaged by frost and moisture. Frost-free quarters such as cellars, garages or tool sheds are best suited for this. At the same time you can check the condition of the garden furniture. Are the screws tight? What does the surface look like? Clean wooden garden furniture with a moisturizing lye made from natural soap and a sponge or brush. A care oil protects the wood and prevents the furniture from turning gray.
- Repair the garden hose
Did the water hose leak in the summer? In winter you can use the time and make sure that it is fully operational again in the next gardening season. Most of the time, the hose does not have to end up in the trash – repair kits are available in every hardware store or garden center. If the leak is near the end of the hose, you can shorten it accordingly and reconnect the hose connection with a cuff.
Gardening with children in winter
When the snow is flying, it’s a good time to experiment with conservatory activities for kids. This is a great time to learn all about sprouts, sunlight and water, and even kitchen recycling. You will love the fact that you can grow a complete collection of house plants using just kitchen waste as a source.
Start an avocado tree by sticking four toothpicks around the circumference of the seed and hanging them in a glass of water with the round end down. Change the water every two days until roots form and begin to fill the grass. Plant the growing seed and let go of it, but be careful! They grow fast.
Create a green garden by placing the tops of carrots, beets and onions, as well as the bottom of celery on dishes made of plain water. Keep the tops watered every day and put the dish in a sunny window. You will see a small green forest that will grow within a week.
One of the most common winter gardening projects is growing a sweet potato vine. Suspend a sweet potato in a glass jar half filled with water. Keep the water filled so that it touches the bottom of the potato. Green sprouts will appear on top and will eventually turn into an attractive vine tendril houseplant. Some sweet potato vines took a few years to grow and grew around and around kitchen windows.
Additional children’s winter activities
In addition to growing plants, winter activities for children can also include crafts and projects to prepare for the next spring garden. Here are a few to get you started:
- Paint terracotta pots for gardening
- Turn popsicle sticks into plant labels with light color or markers
- Roll pine cones in peanut butter, then bird seed to make simple bird feeders
- Read gardening books for children
- Go through the seed catalogs together to plan next year’s planting
- Turn paper towel rolls and old newspaper into seed pots for spring planting
The garden in winter and what to do
Even in winter there is a lot to do for keen gardeners: pruning trees and trees, first weeding, feeding birds, tending to evergreens, etc.
In the three winter months, the garden enters a period of rest, when ice and snow cover everything under a thick blanket and hoar frost creates dreamy picture-book impressions. Now the eager gardener and the energetic gardener sit by the warming fireplace next to mountains of catalogs, guides, illustrated books or even with the smartphone or tablet computer in hand and plan the next season, e.g. B. which vegetables are grown, whether the perennial bed should be renovated or how the lawn should be cared for.
Such wintry idylls are now rather the exception in the age of global warming. Mild temperatures lure you into the garden to take stock. It is now becoming apparent that gardening has not come to a standstill. Weeds such as garden foamwort (Cardamine), dead nettles (Lamium) or chickweed (Stellaria media) also thrive in winter.
So that these vigorous plants do not expand explosively in the warmer season, they should be removed now. Whereby the term weeds instead of weeds would be the more appropriate name. Because the chickweed and chickweed (cf. “Edible wild herbs”) enrich healthy winter salads with their intense taste (chickweed: cress-like, chickweed: intensely mineral).
Harvest in winter
If you have planned your vegetable garden well, there is still plenty to harvest: kale and Brussels sprouts, parsnips, leeks and winter hedge onions as well as lamb’s lettuce and winter spinach.
Once the vegetable patches have been harvested, the soil is prepared for spring. Heavy loamy soils are dug up, sandy ones loosened up with a hand cultivator. Remnants of the vegetable plants (attention: not with cabbage!) And leaves are also buried. If there is still ripe compost, it is spread.
If the ground is slightly frozen, the rose leaves, which have fallen late, can easily be raked together and disposed of. Not on the compost, because rose leaves contain many fungal spores that contain rose rust and powdery mildew.
If trees have to be thinned out or rejuvenated, February is the right time to cut the trees.
In February the sun already has plenty of power, so that some evergreen shrubs start to grow, which will prove fatal in late frosts. Therefore, the plants should be shaded with tarpaulin for a short time. If there is hardly any precipitation, it has to be poured.
Growing plants from seeds
The gardening season really starts in mid-February. Now is the time to grow seedlings for vegetables and annual summer flowers.
Suitable potting soil must be obtained and the seeds sifted.
If everything is ready, you can start and the round of the garden year, which seemed to end in November, begins again.
Even when the weather is mild, there is not enough food for our feathered friends. A bird feeder should therefore always be well stocked and cleaned if necessary.