Things to do! a friendly and growing community of gardeners. We feature a Garden Discussion Forum and Garden Photo Gallery. It's a fun and friendly place to talk with other gardeners, ask questions, share you knowledge, view and post photos and more! Whether you're a master gardener, or brand new to the hobby, you'll find something of interest here.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Don't think just because the weather is not favorable for planting that there are not things you can do in the garden! And you thought you had the winter off.
First if you have had an area of weeds you just can't seem to control now is the time to cultivate the soil and bring all the seeds up for a good frosting! No... not the kind on cake, the winter kind. You will be surprised how it will effect the spring weeds. Think about this, your last seeds have fallen from the weeds, maybe even gotten a cozy home in your bedding. Exposing them to cold temp will kill many of them. If you don't re-bed your plants , then about once a week just gently rake up new soil to be exposed.The more you expose the more you can kill. Also all those dead weeds hanging around... now is the time to pull them so the seeds are gone come spring.TAKE EXTRA care not to expose roots and crowns to the cold weather.
Second I like to bed everything down with a thick layer of ORGANIC material. Especially beds that will not have anything with active plants. This has a double positive on it keeps roots of dormant plants covered and warm, 2 it adds organic materail to your bed so it can compost down to be worked in for spring. It also helps prevent weed sprouting and reduces weed pulling. This process can in some zones go on all winter long.
Beds that have active winter plants get a good cultivating and then if appropriate , feeding and then covering.
Anybody else have good winter tips or chore you like to take care of in the garden.
Does plowing snow count? ok yes, I'm being a smart alec lol!

I'm in a zone that is new to me so I'm still learning what I can do and not do. I think I planted my bulbs way too early this year (planted them the end of August lol) So far I haven't seen any pop up so there is still hope. I know my doggie will still do sentry duty even with patches of snow on the ground lol! She loves to guard me while I work in the yard.

I would typically shred leaves and mulch my beds.

I will take your weed control method under advisement :)

Dora/Garden Goddess
Also in a new zone, and still learning. Did get all the beds on the east side of the house mulched. I am told the lady that was here had the beds full of wonderful flowers that come up in the spring. The beds did need weeding a bit...but I felt sence I have no idea what is there I would just mulch for the winter and come spring try and get the weeds out as things pop up....

I am going to take this "down" time to try and plan out the beds. This is a very new thing for me. I usually just start planting with no plan. Then I end up having to move a unch through the year. I know I will still end up moving things but am in hopes not so much with a plan in mind.

I also like to take this time to clean all my tools, oil and sharpen those that need it. I know this is not really "in" the garden .

I find that if I need to put in any edging.....larget stones, bricks,,,what have you...this is a good time to do this, as the gound it softer and over the winter with the rain and all it sets everything in well.
Working out weed seeds may work in Florida, but not here in my part of Michigan (Z5).

Many northern weeds need a cold snap (stratify) to help in germination. Mant weed seeds will lay dormant for decades, waiting for the right moment.

Some weeds fall geminate and blossom in early spring and others germinate in spring when temps warm up.

As far as planting bulbs to early....... not that bad, and because they were planted this fall, you may find that they will pop up a bit later than established bulds,

No worries, even if the do breack ground as long as the bud stays deep within.

Crabber - I would need a backhoe to dig up my weed seeds in the winter :rolleyes: Just kidding! I read your post with interest though, as I did a major weeding late fall this year - so hopefully I surfaced a lot of weedseeds and they get killed off when it gets cold enough! In the past, I have gone out in January when there is no snow and have seen the weeds growing .... they grow anywhere anytime :eek:
LOL! Yep some of you would have a very hard time with winter outdoor chores, but sometimes you get those days when it's a little warm and you want to venture out. If you're like me you can't wait to get back in the garden. Tool sharpening and maintenance was next on the list. It can be so disappointing when you are all ready after winter to go out to the garden and find that you must first work on your tools. In general keeping tools clean and oiled is a great idea.
Now for those of you who are not frozen already it's a great time to edge your beds. That way when you get ready to plant that is already done you can get to the good stuff right from the start.
I keep a garden journal in a binder..I make time to update it and plan for next year..Its fun to see what worked and what didn't..Just keeping the yard looking sorta clean even if it is a bit muddy ect..
Hi Melanie,
I kept a garden journal on my computer from 2003 to 2006.
My back problems began after a GG party in 2007 so I had to stop all gardening, thus, all journal entries. This year, due to pain, I did not get in my garden at all.
This October, I lost my entire hard drive, and my entire journal.

So, my winter will be learning more about planning the landscaping for next Spring, like Deb's doing.
I keep a garden journal in a binder..I make time to update it and plan for next year..Its fun to see what worked and what didn't..Just keeping the yard looking sorta clean even if it is a bit muddy ect..

That is such a great idea. It helps you when palnning your next planting. Tracking growth rates and times as well as weather conditions. Almost like you own personal almanac.
Hi Melanie,
I kept a garden journal on my computer from 2003 to 2006.
My back problems began after a GG party in 2007 so I had to stop all gardening, thus, all journal entries. This year, due to pain, I did not get in my garden at all.
This October, I lost my entire hard drive, and my entire journal.

So, my winter will be learning more about planning the landscaping for next Spring, like Deb's doing.

Sorry you have has so much trouble. Since I quit the heavy work of fishing and construction I can actually work in the garden with minimal pain. It took several years to recoup but I did it. I just have to be extremely careful as I still do have Degenerative Arthritis in my neck and lower back. But I look at it this way when I start to hurt I stop working. Oh that bring up the thought of a thread for herbal remedies. My son just turned me on to an herb called Kraytom. Wow It works great for pain and "0" side effects!
We were new to Oregon in 2003 and the spring of 04 I started writing stuff down and now its fun to read it and see what I did and how it worked good and bad..We are Fairfield ca transplants and I found gardening different and lots better up here..Love it even if its 21 out this morning..
Not much I can do in the garden now, with that white stuff on it, but I also keep a garden journal.......just to jog my memory, as to what I would like to do, to things I want to do. Type of plants I will be looking for, and reminders, move that Prickly Pear I know I should have worn gloves, but you know, it will only take a little time to move duct tape came in handy after that move, and it will be moved again...............:D
WOW...learn something new every day...I had no idea either one of you two keep garden journal...i bet if I would do that I wouldn't end up pulling my beet berry every year...OY! So do you just use a note book...any tips on the best ways...I think this should be a whole thread of it's own...maybe one of you that do garden journals would like to start one and share your idea's...
I started a garden journal wjen I first started gardening. I had such a large place to garden I didn't know what I was going to do so I started out with a sprial binder and would draw out garden beds and draw in the diffrent flowers I wanted in the space .I would enter dates when I started the plants and note how they were growing then I would make notes of new plants I would come across in other peoples gardens Then made a place in the back of the book for a wish list of plants with notes of their needs and care. I really loved my journal. Veg you should start one for your new home and garden.
i need to do that too but will have to wait and see what is in my gardens, not being able to really work in them for a few yrs they have gotten overgrown
did thin some out last yr by selling some plants and will do that again
sold them for $1 each and made $380. last summer towards the oil bill
been collecting 4" pots so i can sell some in the spring, need to mark my plants so i know what they all are...
Ron, isn't that so true here in MI!
Weeds will show up years later, one has to wonder where they came from! They were laying in wait. don't even have to turn your soil to bring them to the surface. Then of course you have those cute little birds pooping out all those seed along the fence lines and cable lines. And what about plants growing in your marked place for a perennial! So beware look above and make “Certain” there are no lines for bird to sit on *LOL!! I think some poop as they fly!*lol

Crabber, I do not oil my tools, not certain why maybe I'm afraid to leave a deposit in my ground or hurt a worm or maybe because I think the dirt will stick to it .I just give them to my hubby he buffs and sharpens them mid season and fall for me ,that is his official job if he wants hot peppers all winter long*lol I was going to use sand, wasn’t sure if that would dull them ..I do use alcohol and peroxide a lot, it keeps tools nice.

Veg, pulling up the weeds as they pop up will work ..ooonly if you can identify the weed seedling!
I have pulled so many plants that I learned later that were perennials or annual seed I planted.(of course I was too excited to get rids of them to run and get my records)
When I see a group of plants germinating I start pulling.I have left so many things grow because I didnt know and ended up with a nightmare.

What I really need is a little fat book with pics of all herbs, annuals and MI. perennials!It is taking years to figure out what is who and who is where and when!*lol

Swindy, You did excellent!Sounds like I write that!*LOL
Yes there is nothing like reading your progress report..I love it them; again I never received a good progress report from a teacher *LOL Now I am the grader*LOL

Oremudpie, Don’t forget the pests! The day they show up and gone. Damage to what and who and what you did or have to do next year to keep them at bay or eaten *lol I had 5 flows of the cabbage moth this year, no clue where they came from! But. as soon as I saw them I knew My collards and kale were safe*lol

Are you certain you lost your hard drive!!
There are ways to recover “LOST “ data!
I lost thousands of pics and logs of my seed started indoors, they are wonderful references

Mainegal That is terrific!
WHAT A SALE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I tried selling plants for a dollar one year and sold cuttings of Mona Lavender (more or less a houseplant here) and a few perennials,I got stuck with hundreds that I took out of the 4" pots just gave away!It was terrible!
I spent hours of potting them and labeling them ..Most people wanted my sunflowers*LOL

Back to the journals. On GG we used to have a journal on line you could keep and if you wanted others could access and read. I have kept them on my computer as wll as notebooks. They great thing about notebooks is you can carry them withyou in the garden.
I've never really done a journal but I do take pictures. Sometime when I'm slogging along I look back at first year pics and remember when I started with. With my new home I bought a spiral of graph paper. I've started plotting my future paradise :)

This weekend I also went through bluestone perennials website and a couple of seed catalogues to start planning what to plant. I have them in columns as to when they bloom with notes on height and color. I was trying to choose plants that will handle humidity as we can get pretty humid in the summer lol!

Dora/Garden Goddess
Hey with scrap booking as it is that would make a great pictorial =journal as well as you could write your notes. That actually sounds like a really good idea then you would be able to actually see the changes and progress with your notes from year to year. you would not have to actually have a scrap book but could use a photo book. Hmmm I might do that myself. I kinda like that idea. I can keep a book for each year and with getting a new camera I have no excuses! :eek: is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to