Gardeners often take the garden for granted during winter, believing it’s rather useless to tend to, especially when the frost sets in. This common misconception often leads to ruined gardens that sometimes don’t recover during the spring.
Although winter is considered a quiet season, it doesn’t mean that you cannot plant anything or maintain your garden. Here are a few things you can do in your garden during winter:
Prune your grass, trees, and flower garden
But do it during a mild, dry day. You can still remove dead branches and cut overgrown ones from your trees and shrubs even if it’s already winter. This is important because it can help increase the light and air at the crown of the tree, keeping it healthy despite the weather. You can mow your lawn too, but once it gets too cold, you need to stop as frosty and waterlogged grass is easily damaged. It is now the right time to stock up on mulches and bark chips too.
If you have a flower garden, you can winter-prune them, too. For example, cut away diseased or damaged growth from your climbing roses and gather up any fallen leaves from around the base of your rose bushes. You also need to make sure you prune your Japanese Maples, if you have any, otherwise they will bleed sap if you prune them later.
Plant bare-root roses and radishes
As long as the ground is still soft, then you still have time to get some vegetable seeds in your garden soil and end up with beautiful blooms come spring. Bare-root roses are a great choice and it is best to plant them late autumn, or late winter to early spring.
If you have a greenhouse, you can also plant a few radishes in pots and cover them with horticultural fleece to keep them safe from the cold. You can also plant some berries, which can grow in cold weather and will look really beautiful when covered in frost. You can choose among holly, mistletoe, pyracantha, and cotoneaster—all of which are great winter food for birds, according to Ideal Home.
Do a bit of cleaning
The first few weeks of December is the perfect time to do a little garden cleaning. House Beautiful recommends scrubbing your patios and paths to stop the surface from becoming slippery. You can use a stiff broom or a pressure washer along with some patio cleaner. Just because it’s winter, it doesn’t mean you need to stop cleaning outside—your garden shed needs to be kept in check during winter, too.
You also need to make sure your garden power tools are stored properly. Screwfix have a number of different types of lawn mowers that are available on the market right now, from electric to ride on mowers. Although, no matter what type of mower you have, it can be damaged if left out in the cold over the winter months. To prevent any unexpected expenses, keep the machines covered indoors and check on them at least once to make sure the protection is sufficient.
Protect your non-hardy plants and continue your gardening indoors
Bring all your non-hardy plants inside the house. They will not be able to withstand the sustained cold without protection. Bulbs and herbaceous plants need to be covered with thick mulch made of manure, straw, or old leaves.
You can continue your gardening indoors by planting winter-flowering plants like witch hazel, wintersweet, winter honeysuckle, and winter cherry. Jane Perrone’s article ‘What to do in the garden this winter’ on the Guardian states that you need to make sure you keep them close to your home’s doors, windows, and pathways so they can bloom and you can enjoy their colour and scent.
When winter is over, check your plants. If you notice any damaged plants, remove them from under direct sunlight because thawing quickly could damage them. Don’t automatically throw away seemingly dead plants, too. Cut off the frosted bit first and see if any new growth will appear.
There’s no shortage of what you can do in your garden no what matter the season. As long as you know which plants to protect and which ones to leave outside in the cold, your garden will be in full bloom when spring comes.