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Winter Gardening Tasks

 

Girl smiling with flower

Ainsley grew an amaryllis flower. Amaryllis come in all colors — Ainsley’s favorite color is pink.

  • Grow a bulb in a pot inside– like an amaryllis or white narcissus–it brings color into the winter months!
  • Grow bean sprouts to get some good vitamins in the winter. You can sprout alfalfa seeds, mung beans, wheat berries, and lentils. Add sprouts to salads or soups or munch on them for a snack. John Edwards in Ellsworth carries these beans. See our post on growing bean sprouts to learn how!
  • Browse seed catalogs for vegetable or flower seeds AND ORDER NOW! Seeds are going fast this year.
  • Though it’s not time to start seeds yet, you can start gathering materials. Plastic containers such pint-size cottage cheese tubs or tofu containers — any container that’s not too deep, makes a great seed starting flat. Paper cups or individual-serve yogurt containers are perfect when it’s time to transplant seedlings into there own pot. Popsicle sticks, or cutting plastic food or milk containers down into that size, make great labels for your vegetables, using a sharpie.  If you start gathering now, when February, March and April roll around and it’s time to start seeds, you will be ready to go.
  • Talk to gardening friends, and share seeds for the upcoming season. Most everyone has extra seeds, and it’s a fun way to try new varieties, compare notes and get a gardening buddy.
  • When you get seeds, read the label carefully– it tells you everything you need to know about when to start the seeds, when to transplant, how far apart to set the plants and how long til they’re ready to harvest. It will be your guide!
  • Make a plan for your spring garden, consider where the sunniest spots are in your yard, and the best protected from wind.
  • If this will be your first garden, plan a small patch, like 4 ft. x  6 ft., on the sunny side of your house. Or prepare to build a raised bed with rocks or boards. Or find containers — like 5-gallon buckets– to set on or near your porch. It doesn’t take much space to get quite a lot of good food, so start small! It’s probably better to stay on top of caring for a small garden that you can expand next year, than to get overwhelmed with more than you know how to deal with.