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How I garden all winter, despite the weather

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Honestly, I never stop gardening. I'm always growing something. The winter weather slows me down. It keeps me out of the big garden (mostly). Still, I always find some excuse to get my hands dirty. I'm looking forward to building a nice heated greenhouse in the backyard someday. Until then, here's how I work on my garden all winter long, despite the cold and snow.

I divide and share my houseplants in winter.

Caring for houseplants is a pretty typical way to keep gardening all year. I simply take that a step further. Right now, I have an abundant aloe vera crop. They are having babies like crazy. I sprout the babies in water until roots form. Then, I take each one and re-pot it as a holiday or friendship gift. Not only does this give me a winter gardening task, it also strengthens friendships and provides some inexpensive presents.

I plant fresh herbs yearly.

A few years back, it occurred to me that it was more productive to start herbs in early winter. It also gives me the time I need to nurture them to perfection. Each spring, my herb garden is refreshed with new plants. That way, if the old perennials die off, I still have plenty. Any surplus is once again shared with friends. I have plenty who appreciate a gift of window herbs, since they have little space to garden.

I'm always sprouting something.

I generally start next year's peppers and tomatoes weeks earlier than most gardeners. That way, by hardening off time, they're nice and strong. They can withstand any breeze that threatens them. When I'm not sprouting next year's veggies, I'm sprouting sprouts. It's a great way to produce fresh salad greens in very little space. You don't even need a window!

I engage in strange winter gardening experiments.

Growing houseplants from pineapples, sweet potatoes and more is usually a kid's hobby. It doesn't have to be. In the winter, I do crazy stuff like growing lemon "trees" from seed and such. Sometimes the grandkids do it with me, sometimes not. Either way, it satisfies my craving for gardening in winter months.

Composting satisfies my craving for dirt in winter.

All winter long, I work on supplementing my compost pile. While it's not exactly gardening, it's gardening related. Once spring hits, I have plenty of fresh nutrients for the garden, without spending a ton of money. It's easier than you think. Plus, I get that great feeling that only comes from working the soil. That way, I never miss it.

This article was previously published by this author on a now closed Yahoo property.

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