As the days have shortened and the temperature dropped, it’s important to ensure your garden is prepared for the months ahead and all that this season has to throw at it. It’s easy to take a break during this time and get back to gardening in the spring, however, we can assure you that your garden will not thank you for this.
Here are some of our winter top tips:
Remove all of this year’s vegetable plants.For us, this is one of the most important gardening tasks because the last thing you want is to leave your plants to rot and decay. This could cause a multitude of issues the following year as your plants will have possibly contracted disease and potential pest populations.
Cover garden soil.If you want to get the most out of your garden next year, ensure your soil isn’t left bare and exposed to all the winter elements. This will help to protect your soil from erosion while supporting all the beneficial micro-organisms working within it. Weeds will also be less likely to become established, meaning cleaner beds to work, sow and plant in spring. While a cover crop is the perfect option, for the majority of us this isn’t feasible. You could simply protect your soil with a large sheet or better still, covering with a layer of organic compost – or both.
Protect your pots.Like your soil, it’s important to wrap up any pots which contain shrubs to help capture heat and protect against any root damage caused by the cold weather and frost. One way we can do this is by wrapping the container in bubble wrap or hessian sacking. This will also prevent the pots from cracking as well as offering root protection.
Prune your shrubs. To help protect against disease and maintain a healthy shape winter is the perfect time to cut back your plants. This means once your plants come out of dormancy, all energy will be directed towards producing new, healthy flowers.
Clean paving and paths. With most of our trees now bare, this is the ideal time to rake up all the leaves that have fallen. Acting now means time saved later and less dirt penetrating down into the paved surface over these colder months. Cleaning will also prevent slippery paths making it safer during the wet months.
- Don’t forget your garden wildlife.Our wildlife needs all the help it can get over the winter months with limited food supply on offer. Bird feeders and water baths (break the ice of frozen, so they can drink it) are perfect for this and why not create a bug hotel so the insects that pollinate our plants and enrich our soil can make their winter home?
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