Oh, the weather outside can be frightful in winter. Getting out in the garden can be tough, even for the keenest gardeners. But even if your outside space looks barren, there’s plenty of winter gardening to do. Here’s our guide on the jobs you should be doing in the colder months.
Why winter gardening?
Winter is the perfect time to plan ahead for warmer days
What plants and veg do you want to grow? When do you need to plant them? Do you want to change the look of your garden so it’s the perfect haven to relax and entertain in come the summer? Winter is the time to get your thinking cap on.
It’s the perfect time to tidy up
Sweeping up and bagging fallen leaves and branches. Mending a fence that’s seen better days. Tidying up that random garden clutter. While you may not have as many plants to tend to in the winter months, there’s always tidying up to do. Make a list of winter gardening jobs you can do to prepare for spring.
Winter gardening: the must-do jobs
Prune trees and shrubs
Prune trees and shrubs to remove any dead or overgrown branches. This will help keep them healthy so they’ll be ready to flourish come the spring. Pruning is easier in the winter because there’s not lots of foliage to deal with. There are some top tips to follow when it comes to successful pruning:
- Don’t prune too close to buds because it can stop them from growing;
- Cut branches straight, not diagonally as this can make the stem die;
- Make sure your secateurs are clean and sharp;
Tidy flower beds and put any dead plants on your compost heap
This is an important part of your winter gardening regime. You need to clear away any dead plants before they rot and attract diseases and pests. Putting them on your compost heap will turn them into nutrient-rich mulch for spring.
Winter gardening: looking after your greenhouse
Winter is a good time to spruce up your greenhouse. Here are the jobs you should have on your list:
Clean the panels
You need to maximise the sparse amount of light that gets in during the winter. Speaking of panels, fix or replace any broken ones too. You need to keep the chill and moisture out as much as possible.
Give your greenhouse a general tidy
Clear out any old pots, containers, or anything else you don’t want cluttering up your greenhouse. Tidy up your tools and equipment, and clean them if they are looking worse for wear.
Keep an eye on the temperature
The ideal greenhouse temperature in winter is between 5 and 7°C. Get into the habit of checking it regularly then heat and vent it as needed.
Sort out your plants
This is an essential winter gardening job. If you do have any plants in your greenhouse over winter, make sure you:
- Give them as much space as possible so they can get enough light;
- Remove any plants that you suspect are infected or dying;
- Protect delicate plants from frost with fleece, newspaper, or cardboard.
Winter gardening: growing doesn’t have to stop
Just because it’s colder, it doesn’t mean your garden needs to look as drab and dreary as the weather. Here are our top winter gardening tips for breathing some life in to your garden in the colder months.
Plant seasonal plants in containers
Winter plants will bring a beautiful burst of colour to your outside space. Some plants you can include in your winter garden display include:
- Winter-flowering pansies
There are plenty of hardy winter-flowering plants. And you don’t just need to stop at plants. You can grow veg in the winter too. Winter is a perfect time for sowing kale, cabbage, and broccoli seeds. You can also plant onions, shallots, garlic, spring onions, and asparagus.
Winter gardening-vegetable growing tips
- Don’t water your vegetables too much. Come on, it’s the UK in winter, we’re never short on rain!
- Position them where they can get enough of the limited winter sunlight. Sow seeds in pots as this can make it easier to move them to spots that get the best of the brightness.
- Don’t forget to protect them from pests. You may think pests have retired for the winter. However, pests like slugs will still be around and on the lookout for tasty new seedlings.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide to winter gardening. Now all that’s left to do is wrap up, get outside, and start preparing your garden for those lovely light evenings.
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