Did you know it’s just important to keep your garden in tip top condition during the winter months as it is during the summer? In fact, it’s the perfect time of year to grow some delicious winter vegetables and make the most of the chilly conditions for your favourite winter bedding plants.
By looking after your garden during the cold winter, you can also help to keep the local wildlife safe and healthy during the frosty months. For a bit of winter gardening inspiration this year, follow these tips to ensure your outside space looks top notch.
At the very least it’s important to keep up with the maintenance of your garden, as this should ensure everything remains healthy throughout the cold weather. A few top tips include:
- Dig over the soil
As long as the ground isn’t frozen, there’s no reason why you can’t begin digging and forking the soil. This will loosen up the soil and help it to remain in good condition during the winter months.
- Get pruning
Your shrubs will continue to grow even if it’s frosty, so don’t forget to prune and shape them to stop them from getting out of control
- Give your lawn a new lease of life
Take a look at your lawn and identify if there is any moss or dying grass. If you find any problem areas it’s a good time to do a bit of weeding, mowing and feeding.
Growing winter vegetables
With so much seasonal veg to choose from, it seems a shame to let your vegetable patch lay bare. Here’s how to get planting:
- Which are the right vegetables?
Opt for hardy, cold-resistant plants during the winter such as broccoli, broad beans, parsnips and cabbage (these are great for your Christmas dinner too!)
- Change your vegetables every year
Try to rotate the vegetables you grow each year to ensure the soil remains in good condition - certain pests are attracted to individual vegetables, so these could remain in the soil if you don’t mix things up a bit.
- Make use of your walls
Buildings and sheds provide ample shelter and protection from high winds and bad weather, so consider planting your winter vegetables nearby to give them the best chance.
- Use cloches
Cloches (like miniature greenhouses) are great for allowing sunlight to reach your plant while protecting it from high wind.
Winter bedding plants
There’s no reason you can’t enjoy a splash of colour when you look outside this year. Here are some of the best flowers to grow during the winter:
These incredibly versatile flowers are sure to bloom longer than any other winter bedding plant. For a bit of variation, or if you don’t have much space, you can also put them in pots for a real injection of brightness.
Slightly smaller than pansies, these dainty flowers will put on a subtler display of beauty in hues of blue, yellow and white.
A British favourite, the primrose is available in a variety of colours and shapes and are ideal for borders and window boxes.
Don’t forget to protect the wildlife!
It’s surprisingly easy to protect and help your local wildlife during winter; just a few simple things can make a huge difference:
- Small birds like wrens can sometimes struggle to find food, so put out finely chopped bacon rind or grated cheese
- If you have a pond, melt a hole in the ice to allow animals to drink
- Be careful when you turn your compost heaps as they could be home to frogs and toads.
And finally…how to protect your garden from frost.
Frost is to blame for many plants dying during the winter, so it’s important to ensure your garden is fully protected from it.
Follow these quick tips to protect your plants and garden from the cold frost this year:
- Always choose hardy plants for the winter months – like the ones listed above.
- Avoid high-nitrogen fertilisers as they encourage plants to grow more leaves that are susceptible to frost damage.
- If you have any tender plants or vegetables, ensure you plant them in a sheltered pot or under a large tree.
- Protect the crowns of tree ferns by wrapping them in fleece.
We’d love to see how you get on with your own winter gardens, so don’t forget to share your photos and tips with us!