5 top gardening tips for winter
As the last blooms of the season fade and the trees shed their leaves, you might be wondering what there is left to do in the garden. Though winter is a quieter season for gardeners, there are still various jobs to keep you busy outside. Here are some tips, from Qualis Property Soultions expert gardener Joy Durrant, for gardening into the colder months.
There is a lot of tidying to do in the wake of autumn. Rake up fallen leaves from the garden but keep some aside to spread under hedges. This protects the roots from frosts, and also provides hiding places for wildlife. The leaves can also be placed in a cubed cage and left to make leafmould. This is a fantastic soil improver which will come in handy for future growing seasons.
It’s important to prune your plants before the first frosts to set in. Cut back hedges and lightly trim shrubs to encourage growth next season and keep your garden in good shape for the winter. Roses are best pruned in January or February – be sure to cut out any dead or diseased wood. Also cut dead stems on perennial plants with secateurs, leaving any seed heads on for wildlife. Then, give the grass a final cut, lifting the blades up a notch. The lawns can then be edged up with an edging iron, so it looks neat and tidy, ready for next spring.
Mulch flower beds and borders with well-rotted manure. There is no need to dig in, as the worms will do that for you – simply spread it around the area to provide cover from the frost and enrich the soil in time for spring.
There are several bulbs that you can plant now for beautiful blooms come spring. Here are a few suggestions:
If your garden suffers the worst of the wet weather, there are plants that help with drainage:
- Cornus alba ‘Sibrica’ red-stemmed dogwood
- Cornus sericea – green-stemmed dogwood
To take advantage of all the wet weather ahead, install water butts against sheds, or anywhere they can collect rain from gutters. Saving rainwater now will set you in good stead for next season, especially if we experience drought weather next summer. Plus, acid-loving crops like blueberries love rainwater.