Salvail: Plenty of gardening activities to do in the winter

People let their own gardening go dormant for the winter when there are lots of great garden related things you can do.

Gardening in the winter?

Yes it’s hard to believe but there is no reason why you can’t continue your passion to grow and learn about plants during the winter months.

In the world of plant production, particularly in the northern temperate climates, plants are being grown by greenhouse growers all over the place. These growers need to have products produced over winter in order to have their plants on the shelves by spring.

November and December are typically seasons for shipping Christmas plants to the market place for the big rush.

The other big push right now is in the perennial plant production world. The perennial plant industry starts its season in the fall with seeding and propagation of the many perennial plants available today.

In the winter months they use grow lights to stimulate active growth of these plants in cool greenhouse environments. Sometimes the growers need a bit more heat so they use hot water pumped through small pipes in the growing benches to provide the bottom heat some plants love.

I always feel like people just let their own gardening go dormant for the winter when there are lots of great garden related things you can do.

Here are a few suggestions to bear the dormancy of winter:

1. Participate in garden related seminars. Many seminars are offered over the winter months to help us learn how to optimize our gardens.

2. Build a terrarium. Terrariums are a fun way to harness the tropical rain forest in a jar. It’s fun and easy and the kids love it too.

3. Take a tour of a greenhouse. Many greenhouses will offer tours of their facilities to help educate the public on their growing practices and products.

4. Start a landscape file of your property. Like a scrap book, piecing together last year’s pictures of your garden at different times and seasons can help plan your next season’s plantings. You can also create a dream board of great garden pictures that you would like to use for your next garden adventure.

5. Cruise the garden centers. Get out there and breathe the fresh air that the plants produce when massed together for display.

6. Pick up some grow lights. See the difference grow lights make with your indoor garden projects.

7. Go shopping for plant deals. Rescue some plants. Once plants lose their quality, or salability, they are often sold cheap or given away. This is true for orchids: Sellers see little or no value in them after they quit blooming.

Have fun, be creative and include your kids and/or parents.

Keep your trowel in the soil.