Gardening is a great hobby that can keep you feeling fulfilled all year long. By taking advantage of the winter months, you can set up your garden for success and save yourself more work during the spring. Whether you have just started gardening or are a seasoned pro, using the winter months to your benefit can really make a big difference.

Plant Seeds That Need a Long Growing Season

You may think that winter is a chance to take a break from planting, and for the most part, that’s true. But for some plants winter is actually the perfect time to plant them. Knowing which plants to start early can help you get ahead of your garden prep and give your garden a wider variety.

Roots like onions, shallots and garlic can be planted during the winter. Peas are another great winter plant, while perpetual spinach will do great during the winter and continue to grow all year long.

Start Composting

Winter is an excellent time to start composting for your spring fertilizer. Composting is awesome because it cuts down on food waste while also helping you produce delicious food in the future. Waste takes months of composting before you can use it for fertilizer.

The easiest way to begin composting is to keep a small compost bag or container in your kitchen. Use it until it is full, then bring it out to your main compost pile or container and continue collecting waste in your small container inside. Remember to agitate your compost frequently as it speeds up the composting process. Although most food waste is compostable, never try to compost meat, dairy, or fat.

Till, Mulch, and Prune

Much of your garden prep and maintenance can be done in the wintertime as well. If the ground hasn’t frozen, tilling during the winter can be a great way to prepare for your garden and ready the land for planting. Mulching can also help get your garden ready to be as fertile and productive as possible when you are able to do the bulk of your planting in the spring. Finally, use the winter months as a chance to prune any bushes or trees you have so your plants will be ready for spring when it finally comes.

These winter gardening ideas will help you extend your hobby all year long and get better harvests every year. Don’t wait for spring to start tending your garden, instead, get to work this winter and reap the benefits at harvest.

Read this next: How to Make Your Garden More Organic