Cold Weather Gardening: Five Steps You Can Take to Start Your Garden Right Now


It’s January and it’s time to start gardening.


What’s that you say? There is a foot of snow on the ground and it’s only fifteen degrees outside? Fear not! It may seem counterintuitive, but it is possible to garden in the midst of winter. Or at least, it is possible to start your garden in the winter months.


Here are some things you can do right now to get your garden going.


  1. Plant bulbs. If the ground hasn’t frozen yet, or even if you have a few days of warmer temperatures, it’s still possible to plant tulip other bulbs. Even if the ground is frozen, you can dig through the frozen layer and plant underneath. If you live in an especially cold region, where the frozen soil is particularly deep and temperatures seldom rise above freezing, you can always plant bulbs in containers inside your home before moving to your garden in the spring.
  2. Buy a hoop house. By setting up a hoop house, you can give yourself up to four extra months of growing time each year. Hoop houses are plastic structures that function like a greenhouse. They keep plants within them warmer, allowing you to plant earlier and extend you growing season when winter rolls around again.
  3. Plant seedlings indoors. If you have a room with lots of sunlight, plant seeds in small containers (used egg cartons are great for this) with just a little soil. By the time spring rolls around, you will have seedlings that are ready to go.
  4. When there is little to no snow on the ground, begin the work of laying down the physical structures of your garden. If you want to build a stone path or walls, winter can be a good time to purchase and lay the stones down. This also holds true for wooden and wire fencing.
  5. Clear your garden of excess debris. It’s possible that as winter winds howled, tree branches, and other debris may have made their way into your yard or garden. Take some time to walk around your lawn  and garden and clear any excess debris from your property.