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12 Things You Can Do in the Garden Now

The calendar might read winter but spring is just around the corner. Get your garden ready now with a few things that are easy to do in winter.

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MulchFamily Handyman


Mulch has a few benefits for your garden and it’s something that should be in your garden. It can help retain water during the dry, winter season and it can offer protection from frost. Mulch can help maintain a constant root temperature. Get to know the benefits of mulch.
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Bulb MaintenanceOlga_Ionina/Shutterstock

Bulb Maintenance

Depending on the region you live, you may have taken your bulbs out in the fall. If you’re storing them in the winter make sure they’re treated, labeled and placed in a ventilated loose storage medium. You can also use bulbs indoors as houseplants. Learn which bulbs you can plant in the fall to see come up in the spring.
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Some perennials can be grown during winter. A winter sowing technique that involves using recycled milk jugs as mini greenhouses can get plants from the spring started while buried in the snow. Or get really fancy and build a mini greenhouse with an old window.

For more tips, we’ve got you covered on all things winter sowing.

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TillingFamily Handyman


Tilling should be done in the fall and it’s one of the best ways to get your garden into shape for the spring. Tilling can bring organic matter to the top of your garden and turn into a natural compost. Consult the USDA hardiness map to determine what’s right for you. Learn about common lawn problems and figure out how to fix them.
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Weed ControlFamily Handyman

Weed Control

If your climate allows it, get a head start on weeding work in the winter. Weeds are often the first things to start growing in gardens. Learn how to keep weeds out of a yard.
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Build BirdhousesFamily Handyman

Build Birdhouses

Having some feathered friends isn’t bad idea for your garden. Birds can help with pest control and the garden’s ecosystem. Putting in nesting houses in the winter can help boast the bird population. Learn how to make a birdhouse.
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Prune PlantsFamily Handyman

Prune Plants

Get the pruning out of the way during the winter months but pay attention to which plants you can prune and those you can’t. Trees and shrubs are usually good candidates for pruning in late winter. Check out a few pruning techniques to get an idea.
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Build a Bug Hotel

Attract the right kind of bugs to your garden with a bug hotel. This bug hotel is designed for bees, ladybugs and other insects. Combine some bamboo pieces, pine cones, wood shavings, lichen, stems, seed heads and twigs to let the bugs know you’ve got a vacancy in your garden. Find out how to prevent pests from coming inside during the fall.
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Seed Tape

Get seeds ready for planting quickly by creating some seed tapes. Grab some old newspaper and some glue. Space the seed out along the strips of newspaper and glue them down. Roll them up, label and have them ready to plant. Check out the complete plans at Premeditated Leftovers. Learn how to start growing plants indoors. Photo: Courtesy of Soil Sparks
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Turn Compost Heap

Turn Compost Heap

Winter’s a good time to check on that compost heap. It’s important to turn the heap periodically to allow oxygen to get through and allow microbes to thrive. Or just build a compost tumbler.
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Clean BirdbathsFamily Handyman

Clean Birdbaths

A birdbath is a petri dish of all things foul if it doesn’t get cleaned. It’s a breeding ground for mosquitos, who can make life miserable for anyone trying to garden. Find out how to clean a birdbath to prevent bugs.