For a gardener, the winter blues can be bluer than blue. Finding something to do that satisfies that gardening itch isn’t always that easy and is never as satisfying as mucking in the dirt. There are a few things related to gardening that I do in the winter to beat winter boredom, though.
Gardening Inside During Winter
So what things help get through winter? The first one is planning. I go through any photos we have taken. I do this because there is a good chance that I will want to add or subtract something in the garden next season, like fill a hole with a new plant(s), or just move things around virtually.
I will then get out the schematic I have of certain garden beds and, with pencil and eraser in hand, demolish the entire bed and rework it. For instance, this year we removed a large Japanese barberry from the front of the house and replaced it with a witch hazel which I love. In doing so however, I realized how unbalanced the bed was. Now I am thinking about what taller plants need to go at the back of the bed to balance it out and add some height. Also, which, if any, of the existing plants should be moved.
Another thing I do that is related to gardening is take stock of all my seeds so I can see what I need to order. Of course, this leads to pleasant daydreaming about veggie gardening combined with combing through catalogs to see what’s new that I MUST have. Like many of you, I also start amaryllis and paperwhite bulbs for the holidays. And it seems that right around then I also move the baby succulents into their own nursery pot, unless I’ve already gotten to that.
Speaking of houseplants, winter is also when I tackle any houseplants that need to be repotted. The weather doesn’t matter. I always keep a bag of potting soil in the basement and then either lay a tarp down or repot in the utility sink. For me, winter is a great time to repot houseplants. Most of them are in stasis and will respond well to a larger pot and new soil prior to the growing season.
This year I am planning on forcing some bulbs in the late winter. As we speak, they are slumbering in the crisper of my refrigerator for 10-12 weeks, at which time I will pot them up for some vibrant winter color indoors.
Finally, along with reading seed catalogs, I spend cold winter evenings researching what plants I might want to purchase in the spring… when I can feel my toes again!