Fun Winter Gardening Projects

Make a pot person
Make a pot person

By Mary Jane Frogge, Extension Associate in Lancaster County

BEE HOUSE. Make a solitary bee house bundle. Collect hollow stems from the yard or purchase paper straws and bamboo poles to cut 6 inches in length. Bundle them together and tie with twine. In the spring, place the bundles out in the yard in a protected area for solitary bees.

FAIRY GARDEN. Start with a container. Any size or type, be creative. Select several small-scale plants like ferns, wooly thyme, Irish moss, baby’s tears, sedum or fairy vine. Use small tile pieces or small, flat river stones to make a walk way. Add a tiny fence, miniature bench, trellis or bridge.

NATURE JOURNALING. All you need is paper and a pencil. Look out your window or if it is nice, go outside to your backyard, neighborhood park or favorite outdoor space. Sit down and look around. What do you see? Make a list or draw a picture of what you see. Write down what you are feeling and your thoughts. Write a poem. Use colored pencils or watercolor paint to bring your sketches to life. There is no one way or right way to make a nature journal. When winter is over, take it with you on all your outdoor adventures.

FEED THE BIRDS. Roll pine cones in peanut butter, then birdseed, to make simple bird feeders. Keep a record of all the species of birds that come to the feeders.

POT PEOPLE. Draw, paint faces or cut out a picture of yourself to place on clay pots or suitable growing containers. Then fill the containers with soil. Plant grass seed, water and watch the “hair” grow. Use safety scissors to trim the grass hair.

WINDOWSILL GARDENS. When frigid weather keep your kids inside, try growing a windowsill garden. All you need is a sunny location and a few containers of soil. Herbs, like basil, are an excellent choice for windowsills.

WATCH SEEDS SPROUT. Line a glass jar with a damp paper towel and insert several bean or squash seeds between the glass and the towel. Place a lid on the jar, leave it on the kitchen counter and check the paper every day to make sure it is still moist. Seeds should sprout in a few days.

TERRARIUMS. Place soil and a few mosses and ferns inside a large jar or small fish bowl. Keep your indoor garden moist with a plant mister, and cover the opening with clear plastic wrap.

GROW A TREE. Start an avocado seed in water by inserting three toothpicks around the seed, half way down the side. Fill a small glass or canning jar with water and place the seed in the glass so the toothpicks rest on the brim and the base of the avocado rests in the water.