• Julie Douglas

Garden for the Future- Winter To-Do's

Winter is a time for restoration, goal setting and nourishment. Garden work is put on hold, and we find ourselves with some much needed down time from the busyness of summer.


This is a perfect time to plan and envision what next year's garden will look like. Here are a couple tasks to tackle this winter in order take pressure off the spring planting frenzy. Your future self will thank you!


My father holding Elecampane seeds

-Go through and organize seed packets. Store seeds in a photo album so they're visible from the front and the back, making it easier to find varieties. Adding tabs is also helpful to organize by planting times, conditions, direct sown vs started indoors, etc. A lifesaver!

Other storage ideas include a tackle box, tupperware, an old CD holder, or a small (or large) filing cabinet. If you haven't yet collected seed heads from dried plants outside, it might not be too late. Make a rounds in the garden and check for dry, healthy seeds so you can store them to plant in the spring. For perennial plants, I like to spread the seeds to encourage spreading. Many plants need a period of cold before they can germinate.


Ashwagandha berries are crushed and seeds removed to prevent mold

-Collect your neighbor’s leaves and pine needles. Adding layers to your garden beds will help build the soil, feed the good microbes/beneficial bugs and help suppress weeds come spring. Most people won't mind if you grab them off their sidewalk, but asking doesn’t hurt.


-Chop, drop and compost. If you haven’t already, prune back crispy plants and drop them in the beds. Plants that have fungal diseases should be burned first, then composted to prevent spread. If you grow comfrey, nettle, horsetail or oats, chop them up into the soil and leave them to decompose. Remove the seed heads unless you want these to take over.


Frost kissed Stinging Nettle

-Brainstorm time saving tips and update your garden journal. Writing down dates of what soil amendments you added, where you got your wood chips/mulch/compost and when you direct/indirect sow seeded plants, it saves so much time.


-Design an ergonomic compost system. Soil health is the backbone of producing nutrient-dense food for you and your family. Why not use the down time to take a building workshop and design your own high tech compost system! Check out our workshop offerings, link in profile.


-Relax! You deserve it. Getting crafty can be a great way to unwind and still feel a connection to nature. Make some decorations to adorn your home with or gift them to others. Some ideas include a wild pine and holly wreath, seasoned salts with this year’s herb bounty, seed bombs, and hand dyed clothing from plants.


What is your favorite winter time activity?


Ralph enjoying a cool foggy morning

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