Though it’s more common to associate gardening with the warmer months, you may actually plant a garden at any time.
Gardening in winter can be viewed in two ways; the first one is ensuring the survival of a garden during the winter so that its fruits and vegetables can be picked in the spring. And the second one is that the onset of autumn makes the latter possible.
While not everyone enjoys gardening in winter, many like taking care of a little section of land in a communal garden. Don’t panic if you don’t prepare for the winter with a garden. Many parts of the United Kingdom see autumn warm enough for vegetable gardening, allowing for early sowing in preparation for the following winter or spring.
If you’re just starting out in gardening this winter, keep in mind these eight guidelines:
Clear the Snow and Ice
A light brushing can help along trees and plants to remove snow, but ice should be left to melt on its own. Remove branches that have been injured by ice and snow immediately to prevent additional cracking of the bark.
Remember that even on a frozen lawn, grass can be damaged by walking, so use designated paths and trails instead. Spread sand, birdseed, or sawdust on the ground if the roads or pathways are slick. Also, ensure that the salt or deicers that may injure plants are cleared.
Time for Pruning
It’s preferable to prune your deciduous garden plants in the colder months. Now, when plants go dormant, they pose less of a threat of spreading a disease or attracting pests.
Wait for a mild, sunny day, and then get out your pruning shears to take advantage of naked branches exposing exactly what is required to be shaped and clipped. Since hibiscus flowers appear only on fresh growth, a little trimming in the late winter will encourage an even more impressive show in May.
The presence of seed heads should not encourage you to prune your perennial flowering plants. These are perfect for the birds who spend the winter in your area and give some much-needed visual appeal to your garden during the doldrums of winter. The plant’s stalks and leaves shield the plant’s delicate tips from the severe winter weather.
Keep Your Tools Clean
Don’t let your gardening tools and supplies for gardening in winter get dusty in the shed; clean it up and rearrange the contents. Tools with metal blades can be stored in a container containing clean sand and vegetable oil for the winter.
In spite of the fact that it is common information that gardeners should keep their tools clean and lubricated throughout the year, doing so can be difficult while the gardening season is in full swing. Maintaining your tools in the fall ensures that they will last throughout the coming year.
First, you’ll want to give everything a good scrub. The rust can be cleaned off with little sandpaper or a wire brush. Hoes and shovels can sharpen their cutting edge using a simple mill file. A whetstone helps restore the cutting edge of your pruners.
Finally, wipe off the exteriors of your instruments with a cloth coated in light machine oil. By doing so, you can keep oxygen from corroding your tools and extend their useful life by a year.
Keep a Plant Journal
Keep track of your gardening in winter progress in a journal. Collect detailed information about your plant collection, including its location, expected bloom period, prior performance, seed source, age, and any issues or solutions you’ve encountered with pests.
Plan some additions to your landscaping now that seed and nursery catalogues are arriving in the mail. Try to pick plants that are more resistant to pests, illnesses, as well as water scarcity. And record your thoughts regularly as the seasons change.
De-Weed Your Garden
Do you still keep in mind the bindweed that overtook your raspberry patch? Or the Himalayan blackberry that keeps creeping over the fence into your garden. It’s time to start dealing with those strays. Take them out of the ground, throw them away, or bury them with a layer of tarps or garden cloth.
Resist the temptation to just move invasive weeds to a new area of your garden; they will likely continue to thrive in a compost heap or weed pile. The only way to ensure that invasive plants do not regrow and ruin next year’s harvest is to remove them entirely.
Provide for the Birds
Feed the birds in your area, as the winter weather may have buried their normal food sources. Always provide clean water and maintain well-stocked feeding stations. Woodpeckers, which feed on insects, can be attracted by hanging suet cakes in trees.
Prepare for the future by planting trees, bushes, and vines to provide natural food supplies and a safe haven for wildlife. In addition, have birdhouses ready for the coming of spring to attract breeding birds.
Get Your Bulbs in the Ground
Don’t worry if you didn’t get your bulbs planted before the ground froze; you can still plant them in peat pots in January. Put the planters in the ground and cover them with leaves.
Put them in the ground as soon as the weather is right. Make sure your stored summer bulbs aren’t drying out by checking on them periodically. Toss out everything that has started to decay.
Now is the time to replant the spring bulbs that you dug out and divided earlier. There is no better time to replant spring bulbs than now, including daffodils, tulips, and crocuses.
Prepare for Spring
Get your perennial beds ready for new growth by the end of March. It’s time to get rid of the weeds and the dead plants in the flower beds. If frost returns at night, cover plants again to do the best gardening in winter. Gently remove the winter mulch from around your plants and split the perennials that will flower this summer and fall.
Cut ornamental grasses all the way back to the ground right before new growth emerges. Mow the lawn in the spring to eliminate the dead grass and make room for the new growth. We need to reseed the bald and sparse areas.
Immediately after the buds form on branches of the pussy willow, forsythia, pear, quince, crabapple, and blooming cherry, they can be brought inside to bloom. Indoor flowering from cut stems takes roughly three weeks if you replace the water in the vase every four days.