Tips to Take Care of Your Garden in Winter

gardening in winter

You can always find something to do if you’re a gardening enthusiast. The winter season is the best time for tidying up your garden, pruning the plants, and preparing for spring. 

Clean and check your gardening equipment

Cleaning your gutters is a good winter gardening job to begin with. Leaves, branches, and other debris can clog even the widest gutters. And when they become wet, they will block the flow of water. Thus, they might cause overflow into the roofline and possibly cause damage to your ceilings and walls.

Take care of your garden tools. Now is the perfect time to clean and sharpen your tools. Also, wash the gardening gloves and check if any personal protective equipment needs replacing.

Check all the chemicals’ expiration dates. Get rid of any products with damaged packaging. And don’t forget to do it safely!

As for your lawnmower, it’s best to send it in for maintenance.

Protect plants from the harsh cold.

Some potted plants are more susceptible to cold weather than others. Move the ones which prefer warmer conditions to a more protected spot, whether outside or into your home, where they can get plenty of sun.

You can also build a frame around garden plants that don’t tolerate frost. Put a piece of cloth or an old blanket over the frame at night to keep them isolated.

Check the Compost

Do not forget to pay attention to the compost in the winter. You can do this by tracking the moisture and temperature of your compost pile.

Check the compost heap to see if it’s not getting too wet. If so, put an old cloth over it. In addition, check its temperature. If the temperature gets too low, you can increase decomposing activity by adding nitrogen-rich material.

You can add compost to the garden if you are worried about the health of your plants through the winter, as it can supply the soil with nutrients. Mulch, on the other hand, can serve as protection for the roots and can also prevent weeds from growing and spreading.

Prune away

First and foremost, remember that in winter you should be pruning most trees and shrubs, except the ones producing spring blossoms. The latter should be cut back after they’ve flowered.

Here is a list with the plants that need pruning in winter and when exactly to do it:

  • Roses You should’ve pruned your roses by now but if you haven’t done so, don’t delay it further. Roses usually need to be pruned in mid-to-late July. 
  • Gardenias, hydrangeas, and wisteria – These are best to be pruned in early August.
  • Herbaceous perennials, deciduous trees, shrubs and grapevines – These should definitely be pruned in winter, so make sure you take good care of them.
  • Fruit trees – They should also be pruned in the colder months to correct structural problems. Make sure, however, to prune according to the variety’s needs. Also, don’t prune until late September in areas with early spring frost.

Reduce feeding

In winter, plants grow more slowly, and they don’t need as many nutrients as usual. So, the most important rule about fertilizing in winter you need to remember is – to reduce the frequency of feeding by half.

Blood and bone will break down too slowly in winter due to the colder temperatures. That is why when planting young seedlings, it’s better to use a liquid fertilizer. Thus, you will give them the boost they need.

All-purpose plant food is good for leafy winter vegetables.

You can start fertilizing winter flowering bulbs when the first buds appear and continue till flowering ends. Thus, you will ensure a good display next year.

Cover Photo by Alissa Nabiullina

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