In many parts of the country, winter is long and gray. These long, gray days can take a toll on the psyche, making us wonder if we’ll ever be able to go outside without layer upon layer again. But the wonderful thing is that spring arrives every year without fail—even if it doesn’t come quick enough for your liking.
Now, I have no scientific proof of this, but I’d venture a guess that the gardeners of the world deal with winter far better than people who’ve never dug into this hobby (pun intended). By this point each winter, gardening enthusiasts are dreaming about digging dirt from under their fingernails and eating their fresh-picked strawberries and peas. They know that spring is right around the corner. And they know that spring = gardening time!
Gardeners get lost in their gardens long before spring, though. This is why I think they have an edge when it comes to avoiding the winter slump. While the rest of us look out the window at dirty piles of snow and leafless trees, gardeners see the possibilities of next summer’s bounty. Here are just a few of the things that keep their thoughts—and their spare time—busy as winter winds down:
- Gardeners spend time looking through the gorgeous seed catalogues that fill their mailboxes and choose just the right varieties—some old standbys, some new adventures.
- They start seedlings so the early spring plants will be ready to go in the soil at the right time.
- They get their soil tested for everything the plants will need in the next growing season—especially important if the gardener is trying out a new plant that requires a specific environment to be successful. (This makes me think of the year I talked my dad into planting some blueberry bushes that need very acidic soil to thrive. I didn’t test the soil and the blueberries were a flop.)
- They prepare their gardening tools and replace the ones that didn’t make it through last year. An experienced gardener knows that spending a little more on a good-quality, long-lasting tool will save money in the long run. Just like anything else, tools sold during the off-season are typically on sale. That’s why gardeners don’t shy away from gardening sections even when it’s cold outside—there could be some great bargains lurking there.
- They check out gardening, soil, and plant books for fresh ideas.
If you find yourself in a winter slump around this time each year, consider taking up gardening. It’s the ultimate optimist’s hobby. If you’ve never gardened before, check out Brett Markham’s MiniFarming for tips on getting started. You’ll even find ideas for expanding when you’re ready. This is a valuable resource for both novices and experienced gardeners looking to grow their knowledge.
How has gardening ever helped you out of a winter slump?