Winter offers those with a green thumb the opportunity to plant a magnificent array of veggies. It’s also the perfect time to trim back roses and summer blooms. And believe it or not, it’s time to give your lawn some tender loving care. Here are our top tips for nurturing your garden over winter.
Winter is not a time to hibernate, there’s still plenty to do in the garden. Take some time to tidy up the veggie patch. Replenish the soil by adding mushroom compost, and chicken and cow manure. Plant vegetables such as carrots, beetroot, broad beans, spinach, silver beet, turnip, leeks, and onions. Many herbs thrive in winter too. Why not grow some garlic, parsley, chives, oregano, or thyme? If you live in a frosty area, plant your herbs in pots so you can grow them indoors.
Grab your secateurs and let’s start pruning. Summer blooms, roses, grape vines, and deciduous fruit trees will benefit from a good ol’ winter pruning. How much to prune depends on the plant variety. A woody plant can have up to a third of its growth removed. Herbaceous perennials such as hostas and cannas can be pruned to nearly ground level. Annuals and hedge plants prefer tip pruning. This encourages new shoots to grow at each cut point. Don’t be afraid to take off as much as is necessary. Removing dead growth will encourage new growth, flowers, or fruit.
A common problem many lawns face is compaction, especially after the heavy rains in winter. Water can pool in certain spots of the yard, and soil can easily become waterlogged. To manage compaction, aerate your lawn at the end of winter. If you don’t fancy pushing a mechanical aerator around the yard, we don’t blame you! Check with your local hardware shop to see if they stock aerator shoes. These make aerating feel like a walk in the park. And remember, when mowing the lawn in winter, raise the height of your mower. Having slightly longer grass will allow for easier photosynthesis, given the shorter amount of time it has in the winter sun.
Other helpful hints…
- Move potted tropical plants, or plants that prefer a warmer climate, to a protected area.
- Water in the mornings, so the soil and plant can dry off before the cold night air sets in.
- If possible, try not to wet the foliage when watering. This may cause fungal disease.
- Contact Simply Helping if you would simply like some help in the garden – any time of the year.