Snow Day Gardening Activities

Winter is upon us and all over Canada snow is falling. even along the western edge of BC where Plant a Seed has its roots. While it makes for remarkable scenery, it can put a damper on households that enjoy spending time together in the garden. Fret not, because your family can still enjoy horticultural “activities” amidst a winter wonderland. Here’s how.

3 Ways You and Your Kids Can Engage in Fun Gardening Activities on Snow Days

1. Plan to Plant Crops That Grow Even in the Snow

Use the blizzard as an opportunity to learn about crops that can thrive not just during cold snaps but when covered by the powdery white stuff. When the ground thaws with the passing of the season you can plant them so that next year you’ll have a garden you can enjoy when the snow returns. In fact, teach your kids that snow can effectively insulate winter crops from freezing temperatures, providing a protective shield until they’re ready for harvest. Snow tolerant vegetables grown in Canada include (but are not exclusive to) the following:

  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Chard
  • Head lettuce
  • Kale
  • Leeks
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Scallions
  • Turnips

Of course, every crop will require dedicated attention to thrive in snow, so gather around the laptop with your kids to do a little homework about the effort needed for each. From there, you can decide on which seed packs to purchase, and head to your local garden center. Buy, store and preserve them (follow these FUN tips), and create a booklet to map out your plans for planting season.

2. Build a Temporary Snow Shelter for Your Garden

You can still head outdoors and tend to your yard and garden in preparation for the next big snow day. And with this activity, your kids can channel their inner architect and horticultural-planner. You see, your existing plants and backyard flora may require some TLC during a snowfall. You can provide this by applying temporary protective covers and constructs. Take note of the following then head to your attic, basement, garage, and/or shed to gather what you require:

  • Wrap burlap sacks around the base of shrubs and small trees.
  • Insert wooden stakes and stretch recyclable transparent plastic overhead (use old garden composting bags) to create a makeshift greenhouse to protect plants.
  • Cover grouped low-growth plants with cardboard boxes (poke holes to allow for “breathing”).
  • Cut the bottoms/tops off of empty milk jugs, bottles, and other containers to cover small individual low-growth plants.
  • If the wind tends to blow in one particular direction, find old wooden pickets and build a one-sided barrier to protect plants from incoming snowdrift.

3. Watch TV

Cozying up to watch TV can be a fun snow day “thing to do” with your family, but how exactly does this relate to gardening? Simple – watch programs and movies about gardening. Plant a Seed has put together a list of popular movies and shows about gardening and farming to watch with your kids. After planning your snow day crops and building protective constructs you’ll certainly be due from some time on the sofa together, and this is the perfect way to wind down your snow day!

~

Learn more about what the Plant a Seed & See What Grows Foundation is doing to promote gardening education for kids throughout Canada.