7 Winter Projects You’ll Thank Yourself For This Spring

Use your winter downtime to do things around the farm that were neglected during the growing season to make spring planting a breeze.

Winter is a hard time to farm. The ground is often too wet or frozen to work, the days are short and cloudy, and the temperatures are hardly inviting. But then spring comes and suddenly you find yourself overwhelmed with projects. However, there are plenty of helpful things you can do during the colder months to prepare for spring planting, many of which don’t require getting into the soil at all. They’re easy enough to do in nearly any weather, and when the spring comes, you’ll want to send yourself a thank-you card.

1. Soil Mix

If you don’t already make your own soil mix for seed-starting, winter is a great time to start. Homemade soil mix helps improve germination but also allows you to add important nutrients to your garden every time you plant. Soil mix is typically one part soil, two parts compost, two parts sand and three parts peat moss with a handful of amendments, such as lime, greensand, fish or crab meal, and rock phosphate—all finely sifted, of course. Follow one of these recipes or look to gardening books like Eliot Coleman’s New Organic Grower (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2nd edition, 1995) for tips and ideas on how to make a soil mix that best suits your practices.

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