We get it: you’re addicted to gardening. It’s therapeutic, and you reap mouth-watering harvests of organically grown food. But winter is paying a visit, bringing icy temperatures and rock-hard soil. You’re wondering if you ought to throw down your trowel and acknowledge defeat.
Cheer up, good gardener! Winter doesn’t have to be an unwelcome guest in your permaculture garden.
We’re here with 4 ways to garden in December.
Care for the plants you sowed in October and November.
If you put some work into your fall garden, it will be brimming with life in December. Nurture plants through the winter so that they will yield an early spring harvest. Some favorites that can be reaped in winter include leeks, asparagus, cauliflower and parsnips… delicious additions to a cheery Christmas menu.
Put up a greenhouse.
A greenhouse will protect your plants from frost and snow. Our top eco friendly tip for gardening in a greenhouse: don’t run the heater, as the energy from that will add to your carbon footprint. You can still grow many hardy winter varieties without the extra warmth.
Vegetables to grow here in the dead of winter include chard, kale, brussel sprouts, Jerusalem artichokes and savoy cabbage. You can try planting some bulbs, too, to replant in the garden come spring.
Sprout seedlings inside.
Tender young sprouters will fare much better in the warmth of your home. Plant seeds in garden pots like our biodegradable peat pots or peat seedling trays, and nurture them on a sunny windowsill. Transplant them into your greenhouse when they’re older and sturdier… or into the garden once spring has arrived to grace it with life.
Plant an indoor garden.
The warmth of your house not only has the potential to provide you with fresh produce during the winter… an indoor garden is also the most convenient way to keep your kids planting when the weather’s inhospitable.
Plant a children’s garden indoors with easy plants for kids to grow.
Plant an herb garden to flavor your wintertime soups, stews and roasts with added deliciousness.
Hang vegetable planters from the ceiling near windows and doors to save space.
Nurture your local eco system by planting a pollinator garden to feed all those hard-working honeybees when the outdoors is looking bleak. They don’t take a Christmas break!
Enjoy making holiday memories in the garden this month. Bundled up in warm clothes and harvesting veg for Christmas dinner, noticing a new sprout on the windowsill defying the snow blankets outside, burying bulbs in the greenhouse with the kids while reminding them of the coming spring and nature’s reliable cycles… this is the stuff that wholesome, lasting memories are made of.
Written by Rifke Hill
About the Author
Rifke Hill was raised on the sort of farm your grandparents told tales about – milking cows, gathering eggs, hoeing the soil, and building fires to heat water. She now spends part of her time copywriting online as a freelancer. The rest of it is spent nurturing and teaching her four energetic children, growing vegetables, baking bread, reading voraciously, having coffee with the neighbors, and enjoying the sunny slopes of the smallholding where she lives, in the Garden Route, South Africa.