Gardening in winter can seem hard to get motivated for but Winter is a great time to start preparing for Spring. Are you ready to put on some warm clothes and head out into the garden for some winter work? Here are 17 cool tips that can really give your garden a boost through the winter.
Time Work For Sunny Bursts – Firstly, when gardening in winter, you need to check the weather so you know when sunny days are expected. Then you can plan your garden work for these days. There’s no point going out into the garden on cold and cloudy days, as the bad light will make intricate work on plants and flowers a lot harder.
Get Pruning – Now is the time to sharpen your secateurs so that you can start pruning all your plants. First of all, start off by pruning any rose bushes that you have in your garden. It is essential that stems are pruned all the way down so that only the main stalks remain. You will need to do this to remove any dead wood from the plants and improve circulation in them. It will also encourage better growth once the temperatures start to rise in spring. Once you have finished pruning all your roses, you should start focusing on your other plants. Most bushes and fruit trees need pruning, but these aren’t as high a priority as the rose bushes.
Watch Winter-Flowering Plants – Most people think that plants lie dormant through winter however that isn’t always the case. Quite a few plants such as winter-flowering plants, are actually very much active during the winter. This is also the case for plants that will flower early in spring – these are still growing through the winter. It is important that you continue to water these plants and flowers over the next couple of months so that they continue to grow.
Start Working With Winter Crops – When it comes to your crops, there are certain points through the winter when you will need to do specific jobs. For instance, in late July and early August, you will need to feed your citrus plants with an organic fertiliser. Now is also the perfect time to sow carrots, leeks, peas, and broad beans. Strawberries, rhubarb, and asparagus should also be planted right about now. Even though it is currently too cold to plant tomatoes and aubergines outside, you can start growing them inside. They can be transferred into your vegetable patch once the soil starts to warm up.
Have A General Tidy Up – When gardening in winter, one of the main jobs that is always high up on gardeners’ to do lists is cleaning up. Gardening can be very busy and demanding through the spring and summer months, so you probably won’t get much chance to tidy up and sort out your garden. As a result, it could get quite messy! So, now is the time to rake up any grass cuttings, pick up broken twigs and sticks, and collect all the fallen leaves. You can use this organic matter in your compost.
Add A Few Potted Plants – Lots of people are put off from working in their garden over winter because it isn’t at its most aesthetically pleasing. If, however, you want to brighten up your garden to make it a much nicer place to work, then you should think about adding a few potted plants. Flowers like polyanthus and pansies will be flowering right now, and will be a nice little burst of colour when you place them in pots around your garden. They will also look very attractive in hanging baskets.
Check Your Pool – As our pools are often continually in use through the summer, winter is a great time to clean them out and see to any renovations or maintenance that need carrying out. Now is the time to see if you need to buy any spare parts for your pool, such as slater pumps or filters. If you do, at least your pool will probably be empty now, making it easier to replace them. You should also drain your pool so that you can clean the entire pool as well as possible. This will remove any algae and other organic matter that could be affecting the overall sanitation of your pool.
Clean Out The Pond – You will need to clean out your pond during your winter gardening so that it makes a great ecosystem come spring. Remove any weeds and clean out any algae. If you want, you should also add some pond plants that will attract some great pond life once the temperature heats up.
Sort Out The Lawn – You will have had very little rain through the summer and, even though it may not seem like it to you, this is very much a drought for your lawn. During periods of drought, lawns can get clogged up with weeds and, as a result, can become very compact. During the winter the grass won’t be growing so you won’t need to mow the lawn. This gives you the chance to do some weeding and clean out your lawn so it is ready for spring.
Aerate The Lawn – It’s also important to aerate the lawn using a special aerator when you are gardening in winter. You can often find these in local garden centres and hardware stores. It is then really worth spreading a thin layer of sand over the lawn. This can help to absorb any excess rain that comes your way this winter.
Double Check Structures – Winter is also a good time of year to double check all the structures in your garden. This includes things like fences, sheds, and gates. Firstly, take a look at any metal structures and make sure that you can’t see any signs of rust. If you can, simply cleaning the structures should be enough to remove any rust. It’s also worth painting them with a sealant to ensure that the weather doesn’t damage them further. You can buy a similar sealant to use on wooden fences and shed walls and it should prevent the wood rotting.
Clean Your Furniture – Your garden furniture may need to be brought inside during the winter so that the colder weather doesn’t affect it too much. This gives you the perfect chance to clean it and give it a coat of varnish or sealant if needed.
Organise Sheds And Other Out Buildings – If you were busy over summer, you probably neglected your sheds and they might now be in a bit of a mess, so plan for gardening in winter. Why not spend a few hours to clean them out over winter? You should spend some time going through all the tools and equipment in them and figure out whether you need to keep anything. Any tools and items that you haven’t used in the past couple of years should be thrown out. It’s also a good idea to give the interiors of your sheds and outbuildings a bit of a scrub to get rid of any dust and grime. It’ll really spruce up the whole space and make it a nicer place to work in.
Cover Any Root Veggies – If you have some root vegetables growing in your garden, you should cover them up over winter. You don’t have to buy any special material to cover your veggies, as you can simply use some leaves or straw that you already have in your garden. Ideally, the covering should be 15 cm deep. This way, the vegetables will continue to grow, no matter how cold it gets, and you should be able to continue harvesting the veg through winter.
Start Your Compost Heap – Winter gardening is the perfect time to start a compost bin. It’s really simple to get started with compost. You just need to find a bin that you can store it all in. Don’t worry if you don’t have a fancy bin suitable for composting – you can simply keep all your compost in a pile in the corner of your garden! Start by collecting any organic rubbish that you have and adding this to your pile or bin. Overtime, compost will be created once all the bio matter decomposes. You can then start adding it to your garden as fertiliser in spring.
Help The Birds – Birds and other garden wildlife have a hard time in the winter. Their food can often be in short supply, so it’s always nice to give them a helping hand when you are gardening during winter. The best way to do this is to place a bird feeder in your garden and fill it up with birds’ favourite seeds and nuts. It’s also a good idea to add some fat and suet balls to the feeder too. The kids will love to watch all the bird activity while you do all your gardening in winter.
Enjoy Your Garden – We are lucky in Australia that even in winter time, we get so many amazing winter days. Get out in your garden and enjoy it whenever you can and if you look after it during winter, you’ll be able to be in your garden all year round. So, get gardening in winter!