How to be productive in the garden during cold weather

There is not much growing during winter, but gardeners can still plan and plot for spring and summer. Here is how these cold weather days can still be productive.

Winter will yield to spring, and our vegetables, fruits, and flowers will burst to live, but in the meantime, the cold weather months can be a time for gardeners to plan their growing season.

We decided what to plant, and make seed purchases in advance--but do not go too crazy.

Jason Reeves with University of Tennessee Gardens states, “Don’t buy more seeds than you think you’re going to use because the seed companies are actually already selling out of things. It’s kind of like the toilet paper craze, people are hoarding it. Well, we don’t want to hoard seeds because we want everybody to be able to have some seeds.”

He goes on to say that gardeners can be active in winter.

Another tip this time of year, now is a good time to make sure your ground is healthy.

“You definitely want to get a soil test,” he adds. “You can contact your local county Extension office, and get that information and they’ll walk you through the process of getting your soil tested, and what you need to add to that soil to get it ready for planting.”

According to Natalie Bumgarner with UTIA Plant Sciences, “This can be a good time to start to build our soil quality. We can do soil tests to make sure that we’re ready and able to manage Ph, nutrients. It can also be a time we can add shredded leaves or composts.”

We have talked about two of the three S’s-- seed and soil. The third one is space.

What area do you have to work with in your garden? You probably have some limits there, so now you can make the choice about growing what we did last year or trying something new.

Bumgarner encourages creativity in your garden, and now is a great time to take advantage of your spare time to be productive.

“It’s a great time to think about your spot, think about your seeds, and kind of get all your materials and all of that in order as well,” she adds.

For gardeners, the ground may be dormant now, but there is still work that can be done. Good planning in winter can lead to tasty vegetables and beautiful horticulture later in the year.