do "real gardeners" do in the winter?
Adams County Master Gardener
are seven fun things you can do when snow and chilly
temperatures making digging impossible and force us
Feed the Birds!
Make a batch of suet dough and
you will be rewarded with a huge variety of birds at
your feeders this winter. Fresh, homemade suet dough
is soft, crumbly, even in texture and just right for
hungry birds to wolf down. High in protein and fat,
this concoction is ideal for juncos, song sparrows,
Carolina wrens, eastern bluebirds, nuthatches, and
downy woodpeckers. They all know a good thing when
they taste it and can feed it to their young when
other food is scarce.
Peanut Butter Suet Dough
Recipe (Bird Pudding)
- 1 cup melted lard or suet
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 2 cups quick oats
- 2 cups yellow cornmeal
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup sugar (optional)
Melt lard and peanut butter
together on low, take off heat and add remaining
Ingredients. Spread on a cookie sheet and allow to
cool in the refrigerator until the mixture is just
hard enough to cut into pieces. Store in small freezer
bags and use as needed.
Create a Terrarium
eco-systems, are decorative, easy to care for, and a
wonderful way for children to learn about nature. A
closed terrarium can often go weeks between waterings
because they recycle their moisture. Slower growing
plants such as small ferns, boxwood, pilea, or
miniature African violets are suitable for these
container gardens. Colorful berries, a smooth stone
pathway, small "frogs" and tiny caps of water may be
added to the landscape.
Renew a love affair with
your indoor plants
Remember that your watering
pattern in the summer is not the same for the winter.
In most indoor environments, winter air is far drier
than summer air. Using room humidifiers or growing
plants above trays of water (gravel beds) may help. In
this winter season you could add supplemental light or
simply move your plants closer to sunny windows.
Have you noticed the
pomegranate piles in our markets this winter? Beware.
Conquering the technique for breaking and entering the
pomegranate was a huge hurdle. (Chefs any hints?) I
chopped off the end opposite the stem, peeled back the
outer skin and divided the fruit into segments. Use
the seeds as a pretty garnish in a salad, or if you
are a real "after-dinner gardener," put about 6 seeds
in an 8 inch pot with rich soil, water sparsely, keep
in a place away from other plants requiring high
humidity, and wait.
Bring in Flowers
"Bring in flowers" by
collecting and framing floral botanical prints. By
browsing through boxes of prints, engravings and
drawings found at antique markets, art galleries and
museums, you will discover the beauty of flowers all
over again. While re-arranging your garden book
collection on the shelves, you may find a photo or
print you want to frame and give to a friend.
Get a Jump on Spring!
Order seeds from suppliers and
plant catalogs and research new sources for plants.
Plan a trip to a local nursery to enjoy the early
display of plants. Start seeds indoors to plant
outside after the last frost. Real gardeners love to
watch seeds grow in a sunny window when the snow falls
Make One New Year’s
Resolution for 2007
Think about making one New
Year’s Resolution to improve your yard in 2007. There
is no denying that successfully dispelling the winter
blues is a high priority for gardening enthusiasts.
Here are some suggestions: install a water feature;
add a pergola or garden arbor; plant shrubs for winter
landscape such as the Christmas Holly, winterberry
holly, red osier dogwood or bayberry; commit to
composting; purchase a rain barrel; plant a tree;
become a Master Gardener!
Read other winter related gardening articles
Read other articles by Sue Williams