Community Groups Shares Tips For Winter Gardening

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In the frigid winter months, it might seem difficult to focus on gardening, but the Athens County Community Food Initiatives (CFI) said planning a garden now may save you some money come spring.

Mary Nally is the director of the Athens CFI, a group that in 2012 hosted 32 workshops related to gardening and food preservation.

"A lot of community gardeners, or backyard gardeners, around here can actually start planting as early as March for winter crops or crops that are hardy in the colder months," said Nally.

Nally cited root vegetables like carrots and beets as well as cooking greens like kale and spinach as types of crops community gardeners could plant safely year-round.

"Having that head-start on planning out what you want to do with your garden space is really important to see how you can use each season to get the most out of your garden," said Nally.

Nally said "seed saving," the practice of saving seeds of non-hybridized crops like tomatoes and reusing them in successive years is a good way to save money and keep your garden healthy.

"It also helps of the diversity of what grows here, when you have someone whose been saving seeds and using those seeds over a long period of time you actually develop a plant strand that is much stronger and resistant to diseases," she said.

The CFI has an online seed saving inventory that can be purchased or downloaded from their website.

Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association will be hosting their 34th annual conference on February 16-17 featuring over 90 workshops on related topics like soil quality to solar panels.