Edibles with Ease: When to Get Growing from Seeds or from Starts? Read more »
In my side yard which is mostly shade, I have tried a variety of perennials that thrive in a woodland setting. Read more »
Make your garden even more welcoming to birds and butterflies: turn it into a certified wildlife habitat. Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Keep your lawn and your shoes clean and free of clippings by adding our innovative, sturdy Grass Catcher to your StaySharp™ Ree... Read more »
The Salsa Rain Barrel System makes it easy to collect up to 58 gallons of water for your garden and lawn. Our rain barrel is ma... Read more »
Make the most of National Craft Month by preparing some craft kits for your children - let them explore color, texture and dif... Read more »
This is the second how-to in a series focused on getting the most out of your basic paper punches. Read more »
Spring brings in the most wonderful colors and here is a fun way to add a touch of color to your gifts! Read more »
Our ProCision™ Rotary Bypass Trimmer features a unique dual-rail system that stabilizes the rotary blade, eliminating wiggle fo... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with a Squeeze Punch that makes every embellishment up to 2X easier to pun... Read more »
My idea is to show everyone that they can make something cute and fashionable without spending a lot of money. Read more »
Embellishing a plain shirt using a reverse appliqué technique is easy - and your kids will love their personalized outfit! Read more »
This year, it seems like spring is way overdue at our house. Read more »
Perfect for tight, precise cuts, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force the blades back togethe... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for users with larger hands or anyone who needs to make long cuts through multiple layers, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabr... Read more »
I always look forward to school being out for the summer (more so than my children, probably!) and the change of pace means we... Read more »
This fun project is a great way to send a little love note to your child. These lunchbox notes can be slipped into a backpack... Read more »
Here is a fun craft for St. Patrick’s Day that is not only adorable, it makes kids stop and think about how lucky they are. Read more »
Children love our Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the handle that’s shiny, bright and smooth, not “sticky” or “bumpy.” Teachers and... Read more »
Our Big Kids Scissors take the basic design of our teacher-recommended Kids Scissors and enlarge them for kids that are a littl... Read more »
Our Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those older children who ar... Read more »
Introduced to the world as a quality fabric scissors, the Original Orange-Handled Scissors redefined the standard for cutting p... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Super Pruner/Lopper, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear... Read more »
Our Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter with a 45 mm blade makes cutting a wide variety of quilting materials comfortable and easy. A cu... Read more »
Don't miss your chance to win a complete prize pack valued at nearly $200!
Community gardens aren’t just allotments — they’re urban farms, great places to share gardening skills and crops.
Keep all of your tools performing at their best.
Even in December and January, I’m always surprised by how much there still is to do outside. So, grab your scarf and warm coat!
Here are six winter garden chores you might need to do, especially if you live in a cold climate where temperatures regularly drop below freezing.
1) Finish Clean Up. As hard as I try, I often leave something outside during my fall cleanup. Now is a good time to make sure you put away any furniture, gardening pots, planters and tools, which you may have accidentally left outside in the fall.
All these items can get damaged in wet winter weather. Terra cotta, concrete or ceramic pots can crack in freezing temperatures. Plastic chairs should be okay in a mild snow, but metal chairs can rust badly during a moist winter. All kind of tools will get ruined, without protection, your Fiskars Long-Handle Digging Shovel.
So, I always plan a final inspection of my garden. And I look for anything that should be put away safely in a covered, dry spot, until warmer, sunnier days return.
2) Prune Dead Branches. You never want to prune much in winter, as this could stimulate new plant growth. But you can remove torn or hanging branches that could attract pests, or injuries.
Just proceed with caution. Remember some “dead” looking branches are really dormant. And the last thing you want to do is start a lot of new growth that will die in freezing temperatures. I did that once with an elder tree in my yard, and it has never been the same since. That’s why I look at this time as my “preventive pruning” time with my Fiskars PowerGear bypass pruners, and I save more intensive pruning for early-spring and summer, depending on the plant.
3) Mulch Gardens. When the ground has frozen, and plants have entered dormancy, it’s time to add winter mulch to your garden. Waiting until now helps prevent rodents from building nests in your mulch. And winter mulch ensures that your garden soil stays a constant cool temperature.
That’s a good thing, because you don’t want your plants to start growing during warm spells only to die back during the next cold snap. So, mulch well, but keep your mulch a couple inches from the plant stem to prevent pests and pathogens.
4) Remove Snow from Plants Gently. Most trees survive a snowy winter just fine, although the stalks of ornamental grasses will break from the weight of too much snow.
Although your tree branches can handle a lot, if they do get overloaded with snow, remember this advice: don’t shake the branches to dump the snow. This will probably break the branches, especially if temperatures fall below 20 degrees F.
If you can, gently brush off snow as it falls onto the plants. But if the snow has already frozen on the branch, let the ice melt naturally. Typically, winter snow is good protective mulch for plants, and provides often-needed moisture as it melts.
5) Order Catalogs. Maybe it’s because I’m a plant geek, but I often start ordering my favorite catalogs even before the end of the year. I recommend looking over your winter garden and any garden journals to see which plants did and didn’t do well last growing season. Consider what you might want to try in the spring. That way you can immediately place your orders in the New Year, without risking your favorites selling out too quickly.
6) Feed and Shelter Birds. Taking care of the birds is one of my favorite winter chores. I’m always impressed that certain bird species can handle frigid temperatures, so I’m glad to help them out with food and shelter.
Black oil sunflower seeds, peanuts, millets, suet and fruits are possibilities for winter bird foods. This combination of foods will attract a variety of birds to your garden.
I prefer cracked sunflower seeds, not whole seeds, because the birds make a mess out of the shells under the feeder. Having a heated water source is also a big plus for birds, as much of their available drinking water is often frozen in winter.
Victoria and Kim Williams provide different shelters for birds in their Idaho garden, as you can see above and below. This ensures they have plenty of pleasant bird watching activities throughout December, winter and much of the year. That’s a nice reward for such a simple winter gardening chore, don’t you think?
What winter chores are your favorites ... or least favorites?