Welcome to the short days of winter – where the nights start super early and the time to go outside is very limited. Just because a gardener can’t spend all their time outside should not mean they are stuck enduring the winter blues. Here are some of the go-to survival supplies that every gardener needs to help get through winter. (And yes, some of these would be perfect gift ideas for someone special on your list!)
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Gardener Survival Supplies for Winter
Books to Learn Something New
Common Sense Natural BeeKeeping
Based on expert advice from Kim Flottum, editor emeritus of Bee Culture magazine and best-selling author of The Backyard Beekeeper, and Stephanie Bruneau, author of The Benevolent Bee, this book teaches holistic, sensible alternatives to conventional apiary practices, and includes:
- Lessons from the way bees live in the wild
- Management strategies that respect the natural intelligence of the bee
- Hive design elements that promote colony health and resilience
- Case studies highlighting successful natural beekeepers from around the world
This feel-good book offers a unique insight into how plants enrich our physical, mental and spiritual well-being with:
- Care guides for 20 favourite houseplants
- Self-care rituals and meditations centred around your plants
- Plant care troubleshooting tips
- Projects for botanical crafts, aromatherapy and skincare
- Botanical drinks and eats
Learn how not to kill your cactus, how to ‘bloom where you’re planted’ and how to love yourself by loving your plants.
Tiny plants are the ideal solution for plant keepers who don’t have much space, but even if you’ve got all the room in the world, their adorableness is reason alone to grow these mini wonders. These are the eternal puppies, kittens, and babies of the plant world—they never grow out of their cuteness because their genetics keep them itty-bitty for their entire lives.
Beyond a few small succulents, most houseplant parents aren’t aware of the extensive array of tiny plants they can collect and display on windowsills, on tables and desks, and in terrariums. Tiny Plants: Discover the Joys of growing and collecting itty-bitty houseplants will help you discover the best plants for your space.
The Complete book of Ferns
The Complete Book of Ferns is filled with botanical information, indoor and outdoor growing and care information, details on propagation, display ideas, and even craft projects. This gorgeous book is authored by Mobee Weinstein, the Foreman of Gardeners at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx and a veteran guest on the Martha Stewart Living TV show and other media outlets.
Grow in the Dark
Having a south-facing window doesn’t always guarantee you the best light to grow plants—especially if your window faces an alley or a tree-lined street. Grow in the Dark will help you learn how to make the most of your light so you can reap the physical and emotional benefits of living with plants.
Detailed profiles include tips on watering your plants just right, properly potting them, and troubleshooting pests and diseases. You’ll also learn which plants are safe to keep around your pets.
Whether you live in a shady top-floor apartment or a dungeon-y garden level, this book will help you grow your plant collection to its healthiest for its Instagram debut.
Things to Help you Grow Plants
Grow Lamps & Heat Mats
Last winter I purchased a heat mat to help my seedlings germinate in the greenhouse during the late winter. I’m hoping this will enable me to also grow more lettuce all year round – even when the temperatures drop outside.
If you are struggling to grow your plants in the short days of winter a grow lamp could be what you need. I can clip this to the side of a pot and extend the light needed to help these young plants thrive.
Newspaper Pot Maker
A great project for the winter months is to make up your seedling pots using old recycled newspaper. With a simple pot maker, you can create all the starter pots for your young seedlings to begin the growth process.
Seeds & Plant Markers
If you are looking for a fun, colorful way to keep up with your plants and new seedlings, I love these acrylic custom garden markers. Early this year, I ordered several for my vegetables and flowers but also included a few with inspirational words to tuck in some of my container plants.
Another thing I love having on hand for the winter season is packets of seeds so I can keep several pots of lettuce and herbs growing in the greenhouse all winter.
What are your best products and tips for surviving and even thriving during the long winter months? I’d love to hear!