If you’ve been following our posts, you would’ve ticked off all you autumn gardening jobs and will be ready to attack your winter gardening jobs. While the mornings are cold and the days much shorter, a few hours or digging, raking and pruning will warm you up in no time. The cool weather also presents the perfect opportunity to tackle those bigger, sweatier jobs that aren’t much fun in summer! Gardening in winter is also a natural way to boost your mood if you’re prone to the winter blues. So, even if it’s only for five minutes a day, get out into your garden and start ticking off these essential tasks.
Winter is the ideal time to prune because you can easily remove dead or crowded growth while the plants are bare.
- Natives should be pruned after they have finished flowering
- Photinias, viburnums, murraya hedge and other hedging plants should be trimmed towards the end of winter
- Deciduous fruit trees can be cut back (apple, pear, peach, apricot, plum, cherry, almond and nectarine) as well as grapevines
- Get stuck into pruning roses and long-flowering summer shrubs (fuchsias & crepe myrtles) but leave spring-flowering shrubs and trees for now.
- Hydrangea shoots that flowered last season can also be pruned
Control Pests in Winter
It may be cold, but that doesn’t stop pests from taking shelter and reappearing in greater number in spring. Clean up any loose bark around fruit trees to destroy hibernating moth cocoons and keep using fruit fly spray to keep numbers under control (no, fruit flies aren’t deterred by the cold). Spray winter vegetables (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli and brussels sprouts for example) with pyrethrum insect spray to protect them from aphids
Look After The Lawn
Aerating your lawn in winter will let moisture into the soil allowing it to rejuvenate in spring. Lawns can be prone to waterlogging in winter making the aerating process even more important. Aerating involves creating holes with a garden fork or powered aerator so water, air and nutrients can make their way to the roots. You can then apply a quality top dressing, ideally a mix of compost, soil and nutrients.
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