Temperatures have dropped and the days are shorter but when the weather stays dry during the winter months, it gives a good opportunity to get gardening tasks done. Here are our top five tips for winter gardening:
1. Catch up on jobs
Carry out any repair or maintenance jobs that have been building up during the year. It’s a good time to repair lawns or fences and a perfect opportunity to tidy up your greenhouse or the tools in your garden shed.
2. Dig in
Keep on with any winter digging, as long as the weather permits it. If the soil is so wet that it sticks to your boots, it’s best to keep off it until it dries out a bit.
It’s a good time of year to do any pruning that needs to be carried out – including woody ornamental plants, fruit trees and bushes. Any major pruning of ornamental deciduous trees and shrubs can be carried out during winter months – plants and trees are in their dormant phase and now that the leaves have fallen off, it’s much easier to see what you’re doing.
Some shrubs, such as willows grown for their ornamental bark and dogwoods, should be left until spring to prune. For top tips, check out our Garden Hacks pruning video.
Winter can bring stormy winds and more occasionally, it can bring snowfall. Make sure that any saplings or younger plants are sheltered or staked, if they need it. If snow does arrive on the ground this winter, shake it off trees, shrubs and hedges to avoid damage. Protect plants that are susceptible to frost damage.
5. Feed the birds
During cold spells and especially during icy weather, it’s important to keep feeding birds in your garden. Feathered friends will pay you back in warmer times by creating the perfect harmony between bugs and your precious plants. You should do what you can to stop ponds and bird baths from freezing over – at the same time, make sure that any outdoor water taps are insulated (there are products you can buy in hardware stores) to stop them freezing during winter months.