Winter Garden Activities

Winter Garden Activities

Winter is short in Sunnyvale: Typically mid-December to mid-February. In historically normal years, it rains for two days and then is clear for 3 days. Most of Sunnyvale’s 12 annual inches fall between November and March. In January there might be one or two cold spells with temperatures below freezing.

  • Clean and repair your garden tools – Cleaning your hand tools of mud and rust, sharpening them up and then coating them in oil for protection will make them last for decades to come.
  • Peruse catalogs for seeds, bareroot roses, and bareroot fruit trees
  • Take care of houseplants – My houseplants always seem to get neglected during the summer months, when I’d much rather be outside. Now is the time to give them some love. Take care of any pest issues. Divide or root prune the plants that have become pot-bound. The divisions you make can be used as gifts for Easter or Mother’s day.
  • Feed the birds – Build or buy a bird feeder. The wildlife that you attract can provide many hours of entertainment for the whole family.
  • Start sprouts – Sprouts are an easy way to keep growing your own nutritious greens through the winter. All you need is a mason jar and a window sill. Many healthfood stores carry seeds for sprouting and instructions are usually on the packaging.
  • Grow an indoor herb garden – If you have a large, south-facing window you’re all set. Otherwise you can buy high output grow lights that let you grow herbs and greens indoors all year. There are even kits online that come with everything you need to get an indoor herb garden going.
  • Visit a local greenhouse or nursery – Taking in all the colors and scenery can be cathartic when the winter blues got you down.
  • Attend gardening seminars and garden shows – Many seminars and shows are scheduled in the winter, when serious growers have time to attend.
  • Exchange scions.
  • Exchange tomato seeds.
  • Buy more books – I don’t know about you, but I can never have enough gardening books.