• Plan out your garden on paper to save time and money. Order seed, especially for cool weather vegetable transplants. To find seed companies, check the library or garden magazines.
  • Chart out dates for transplants/planting. Request “Can I Grow That Here” from the Extension Office, to help calculate dates. Plan for rotating crops to new areas of the garden.
  • During warm days, if the ground thaws, work on removing perennial weeds/leftover garden debris, make frames for raised beds, till the garden and incorporate leaves, compost, etc.
  • Try your luck at growing cool season crops (lettuce, spinach, onions, etc.) in cold frames.
  • Check on mulched carrots and renew mulch if weathered away.
  • Check stored vegetables. Sort and eliminate any that are turning soft.


  • If a warm spell comes and thaws out the branches of fruit trees, you can do some pruning.
  • Inspect the base of fruit trees for rodent gnawing. Place a wrap of hardware cloth around base to prevent damage.
  • Be sure tree wraps are in place to prevent sun scald, or put in place if needed. This is the time of year sun scald is likely to occur.


  • Check young and exposed trees for wind whipping and stake if needed.
  • Check for dryness of perennial plants and evergreen trees. Water when the soil is thawed.
  • Recycle your Christmas tree. Boughs can be cut off and placed around perennial plants for added winter protection or shredded and used in the compost pile. In a sheltered corner of the yard. Evergreens provide a welcome shelter for birds and other wildlife. Christmas trees can even be tied to existing fence posts for an instant tree effect for birds to enjoy.


  • If you didn’t get daffodils, tulips and other spring/summer blooming bulbs in during the fall, try to slip them in if the ground thaws.
  • Check stored flower bulbs such as cannas, dahlias and gladiolus for mold. If found, increase air circulation and spread bulbs out more.
  • Check mulched perennial plants like roses; to be sure mulches are still in place.


  • Overwintered geraniums will be tall and spindly. Cut back about half (if trying to save mother plants), or start cuttings if desired. Place in the brightest, sunny window you can.
  • Give houseplants a warm winter shower to clean foliage and keep bugs down.
  • Houseplants still need light fertilizing during winter months, about half as often as during summer months.
  • Increasing humidity level in the winter will benefit houseplants greatly. Use a humidifier, or simply set pans of water near plants.
  • If you’re interested in keeping your poinsettia for next Christmas, keep the plant next to (but not touching), a sunny, draft-free window, with daytime temperatures of about 60-70 degrees at night. Water thoroughly if the soil becomes dry, soaking the root ball completely. Remove excess water from pot trays. Do not fertilize.