This is a collaborative post.
Winter might be the most challenging season for gardeners, but all the elbow grease and endeavour will be rewarded when warmer climes arrive. Many of us look forward to longer, brighter days when the buds start to blossom and our gardens become more colourful and vibrant. The trouble is that to get to this point, we have to flex our green fingers in the winter. If you’re hoping to pave the way for luscious lawns and stunning floral displays, here are some jobs to tick off your list now.
Clearing and tidying
Whether you’re an amateur gardener or a horticultural guru, you probably look forward to taking on tasks like pruning, sowing and watering. Unfortunately, in the winter, there’s not a huge amount to do in terms of planting, and it’s wise to turn your attention to general maintenance. The autumn and winter months can be messy due to falling leaves and strong gusts of wind that blow all kinds of debris over fences and gates. Devote a little time each week to clearing up and tidying. This will save you time and effort later in the year and ensure your garden looks smart and inviting, even when it’s not in full bloom. In some cases, the wintry weather can take its toll on trees and structures like gates and fence panels. If your garden has been battered by storms, it’s a good idea to contact a tree surgeon to determine whether it’s safe to leave any affected trees. You might also consider seeking advice if you have large trees that are blocking out light.
One of the most exciting jobs you can tackle in the winter is planning your spring/summer garden. Start thinking about what you want to plant and consider ordering your seeds. You can take inspiration from gardening magazines, TV shows or displays featured at garden centres, and there’s a wealth of tips and useful information available online. The time you start planting will depend on the seeds you’re buying, so keep an eye out for instructions.
If you’re lucky enough to have fruit trees in your garden, winter is an excellent time to prune the branches and remove any diseased or dead segments. Cut at an angle and make sure you wear gloves. At this time of year, fruit trees lie dormant, so you won’t cause any harm to the tree.
Growing your own vegetables
If you have grand plans to produce your own vegetables in 2020, now is the time to start getting your garden in order. Hardier vegetables like leeks, Cavolo Nero, onions and broad beans can be planted in the cooler months. It’s also possible to start growing indoors ready to relocate your vegetables outside when temperatures start to creep up.
Our gardens may look their best in spring and summer, but that doesn’t mean we can down tools for the winter. When it’s cold and grey outside, there are still plenty of jobs to keep gardeners busy, and investing time and effort now will pay off when the mercury rises.