It’s December. We are nearly 1 week in. The weather speaks winter, not fall, though the Winter Solstice won’t be here for more than 2 weeks. It’s dark in general, the days are short, the nights long.
(And there is still minutes to lose before it starts getting longer light)
We have seen the first snow of winter already, and the first power outages.
And I am here to tell you something:
You don’t have to do anything this month if you don’t want to. It’s OK. You can choose to hibernate!
(I don’t know the artist, but it really evokes how I feel about the start of winter)
It’s not the worst thing. In fact, it may well be what you need. Use this cold month to hide from the world, nap a lot, cook good food and read.
But if you feel the need to be productive? Here are things to do this month:
- Harvest foliage for decorations, if you like to do that. Make wreaths and bows.
- Decorate the yard with items for birds.
- Go outside on a clear day, and assess losses from wind and cold. Pick up branches and other items broken in storms and make a pile – for burning, or for chipping. If you like to do it, use them for a fire-pit, for the coming Winter Solstice. If you lost trees, start bucking them for firewood. If you do it now, it won’t be overwhelming in the spring.
- Check your faucet covers are on tight for winter.
- Start a gardening journal for the year.
- Get your infrastructure done when it’s still cooler out, but not frozen – pick a sunny day to work. Weed existing areas. Build raised beds, open up and till the land if you want in ground. Our ground rarely freezes on the island (outside of the once or twice a year Frasier River Valley freezes that come down from Canada.) It’s just a lot easier to work under a lower sun, in the 40’s than rushing in April in the heat. And…if you weed now, then the weeds never get a chance to grow big – and get bigger roots. Yes, there will be weeks in the low 30’s, but if we get a warm week, come out of hibernation.
- How much to grow. I sat down and wrote this article for myself. Because it’s just that much easier if you have a guide to go off of. Start planning for next spring.
- If you have chickens, take the time to clean up when it’s not raining. If you have wood chips from fallen trees/branches, spread them thickly in their runs, so the mud/poop isn’t as bad. It makes a huge difference.
- Start a compost pile if you haven’t, and eventually you will have free compost soil to use.
- Start ordering seeds. Get what you want while everything is in stock.
- Order potato seed online.
- Start plotting out what you want to grow, and where in your garden. Be on paper, or online. This will help you to not over buy seeds.
- But most of all, just take time for yourself!