Winter gardening tips
While winter is undoubtedly the quietest season in the garden, there are still plenty of jobs to be getting on with to keep your garden in ship-shape. If you take pleasure in your outdoor space all year long, then you’ll want it looking its best no matter what the weather. You really can enjoy your garden in winter.
Tidy and weed-free
If you enjoy your garden all year round (even if it’s just from the comfort of your own home), mountains of soggy leaves across your garden and paths can look messy (and create a slip hazard!). When it comes to weeding, the more you do, the less you’ll get. Plus, spring won’t be such a challenge if you keep on top of things throughout winter.
Tackle the hedge
Winter is the ideal time to tackle those overgrown hedges because you won’t disturb any nesting birds. You can reshape unruly hedgerows and regenerate them by pruning the woody, unsightly stems at the bottom. You’ll be able to spot brambles and ivy more easily so can have a thorough tidy and cutback.
Ideally, you should plant spring bulbs end of autumn, but if you’re late to the game, November should be a safe planting month too. Some dormant plants can be moved to a different part of the garden before they come to life in spring. Relocating plants can be risky, so do your research first to avoid disappointment, and avoid moving when the soil is very wet or frozen.
Trees and plants have varying pruning needs, so always check if you’re unsure to avoid damaging anything. For dormant plants and fruit trees in the winter months, it can be the best time to prune to boost new spring shoots. Pruning will also protect plant life from frost and wind damage in the colder months.
Protect the vulnerable
If you haven’t already, bring vulnerable plants indoors to protect them from harsh weather conditions and low temperatures. Some larger or immovable plants can be wrapped in winter fleece or bubble wrap to keep them warm and protected from the harsh elements. You can cover empty veg patches with boards and groundsheets to retain the goodness of the soil, keep weeds at bay and help the ground to reach optimum temperature quickly for spring planting.
It’s the perfect time to dig new borders and prep allotments – you’ll naturally dig up pests that the birds will enjoy, and, in return, your plants will benefit. The wonder of nature will sort out those heavy soil lumps for you, so it needn’t be an overbearing task. Give your soil a good dose of compost or well-rotted manure for an injection of goodness in time for spring.
Tools at the ready
Many very organised and devoted gardeners like to use this time of year to get their tools in tip-top shape. Sharper tools will make pruning much easier and clean tools will keep them rust-free. It can be a good time to clear out the shed and get spring-ready.
Take care of wildlife
Keep birds happy and healthy with regular food and fresh water – don’t forget to keep it ice-free. Encourage hedgehogs by making the perfect habitat in a corner of the garden with old leaves and logs.
While your garden is looking at its most stark, it can be a great time to think about any changes you could make or a complete garden design and build project. We recommend starting gardening projects in winter, so they’re ready for the glorious summer months. If you want to discuss your garden, get in touch. We always enjoy hearing about the next project.