The cold weather seems to be hanging around a little longer than I like. Last week I promised a list of outdoor garden chores, but to be honest, I have no desire to be outdoors doing anything when the temperature stays below zero and the wind chill is minus twenty and colder.
I had to travel to Otter Tail Lake earlier this week to meet with a contractor who is bidding some remodel work on my mother’s home. I love being in northern Minnesota in the winter; everything is very peaceful-looking blanketed in snow. When I arrived at the house and got inside I noticed that the inside temperature was warmer than outside, but not as warm as it should have been. The furnace was not working. Luckily the gas fireplace had kicked in and kept everything from freezing. I digress, my reason for mentioning this is to reaffirm that it is indeed cold, -17 when I pulled up at the lake.
As I was driving around in the North Country, I couldn’t help but take note of the fact that people in this state don’t let the cold weather keep them from living. I saw plenty of people out hiking, skiing and fishing. There was also ample evidence that people had been out taking care of chores like shoveling and spreading manure on the farm fields and even making sure that the animals were being fed. After returning from my one-day road trip, I decided that if they could all do it then so could I.
This morning, even though the thermometer read a paltry 4 degrees, I went out and shot a tutorial video of apple tree pruning. There are many things that we can be doing at this time of year to help our yards and gardens in the spring. I am going to list these chores and try to give some videos as the next few weeks go by on how to accomplish these chores. I have already posted a video on apple tree pruning on the Plant Place Facebook page. Now is a great time to do corrective and cosmetic pruning on your shade trees.
Turning over your compost piles can be done at this time as well. Equipment maintenance is a must to keep you from having costly breakdowns during our short gardening season. Make sure to inspect all of your equipment, not just power equipment. This is just a very short list of the outdoor yard and garden chores that can be done now. I’m sure that once you have gotten started on these you will certainly find many more to keep you busy right up until the spring thaw, which seems like forever away at this time.
Stay warm, but remember you chose to live here, so get out and embrace this winter wonderland.