These shorter days can be a real challenge to serious gardeners. On one hand this is an excellent time to be cleaning up, winterizing, and preparing for the spring growing season. On the other hand it can be difficult to muster up the energy to get out in the damp, dark, and often gloomy conditions that we experience during these months. Adding to these weather challenges, are all of the rich foods and beverages we consume during the holidays, which can have a way of making us somewhat lethargic. But I say, “get out there”! It’s important to stay in touch with your garden.

houseplants in red pot - Illustration by Helen KrayenhoffNow is an excellent time to be planting. The only time you should really avoid digging or planting is when the soil is saturated with water, or during heavy rains. Even then, there are many people who swear by sowing their cover crop seeds during a soaking rain. This works best for smaller-seeded cover crops, not fava beans, which need to be manually poked into the soil. If doing this kind of rain dance is your idea of a good time my advice is to tread lightly. And if you forgot to add a soil amendment earlier, remember that applying a surface mulch of composted organic matter is actually better than blending it in. Go ahead and just scatter it around, then let the rain do the rest…you’re not being lazy. You’re doing the right thing!

Here at The Hort we want to inspire you. When you come in, you will be reminded just how lucky we are to be living in a part of the world where year-round gardening is a real option. There are myriad choices of winter-blooming perennials and CA natives, dormant fruits, and cool-season veggies to choose from. We also make it a point to stock a full selection of soil builders, garden tools, and other paraphernalia to make your green sojourn a pleasant experience.

For those of you who won’t brave the weather we have an entire greenhouse chock full of indoor favorites like Gesneriads, Orchids, Palms, Ferns, Bromeliads, and foliage plants. And, if all else fails, learn something new with a purchase from our well-stocked bookshelves. Oh, and don’t forget to visit us in the days leading up to our holiday closure, when we offer even better deals on these indoor treats.

Carpe diem!