4 gardening tasks for early winter

sage and parsley in snow by Stofko
The sage is still very aromatic, and the parsley is gorgeous. Don’t let your herbs go to waste; harvest them. Photo by Connie Oswald Stofko

by Connie Oswald Stofko

In other years, the middle of November would be a time to think about how to prepare for winter. This year winter has already made its appearance and is taking its sweet time to give us a break.

Here are some things you can do now, even if your yard is covered in snow.

Harvest herbs

Despite the snow, my sage and parsley are still going strong. (The leaves on the sage are a bit limp, but they will still work for cooking.)

Don’t let your herbs go to waste. Make sure you harvest them.

You can dry or freeze herbs such as parsley. You could also make herbed vinegar.

You can extend the growing season for your herbs by covering them with a thick layer of leaves. See more here.

Bring in your rain barrels and hoses

Don’t leave your rain barrel hooked up all winter. When the water freezes and expands, the barrel will crack — I know this because it happened to me. If you don’t have room for a big rain barrel in your garage or shed, tip the barrel on its side.

Your hoses can also crack if they’re filled with water, so bring those in, too.

Put away your breakables

Anything that’s breakable, such as glass garden ornaments or glass bird baths, should be brought inside. There is a chance that wind might topple some of these delicate items or a branch might fall on them. And if they hold water, they can crack when the water in them freezes and expands.

The same goes for ceramic pots.

Clean your garage or shed

This is a chore I hate to do, but I’m always so glad when it’s done. It’s nice to be able to find the tools I need, locate my gardening gloves immediately and find just the right size pot.

If you start out next season with a place for everything, there’s a better chance you will keep everything in its place. When you get busy in the spring, you’ll be glad you got organized now.

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