Although your garden may seem quieter in the cooler months, there are still plenty of activities that allow you to enjoy your garden in the winter and various ways to maintain its beauty through the season!
So prepare your shovels and grab your shears as you get ready to winterise your garden with our top tips below!
Plant Flowers With Beautiful Scents
Most flowers become dormant during the cooler seasons but there are still a few species that provide beautiful scents and colours for winter!
Here are some of our top suggestions you can plant near your entrance to enjoy an enchanting aroma each time you come home.
Viburnum: It has dark green leaves with toothy edges that give off a beautiful scent.
Bee Balm: Every part, including dried flower stalks, flower heads, and stems, are heavily fragrant.
Mahonia: The long draping stems enclosed with yellow flowers produce a sweet scent.
Honeysuckle: They have delicate creamy-white flowers that smell like perfume.
Harvest And Store Vegetables
The process of harvesting and storing in winter depends on the type of vegetables you’ve planted during summer and fall.
Tender Vegetables: This type, including tomatoes, beans, pumpkins, and peas, does not tolerate frost and should be harvested prior to extreme winters. Once you’ve pulled out these plants, burn or discard the diseased plants (if any) to ensure no infected plants are left on the property.
Hardy Vegetables: Such vegetables have the capability to withstand hard frosts and usually taste better after that.
Cooking greens like kale become sweeter when touched by the frost
Spinach and broccoli can survive cool temperatures without protection
Garlic, sowed in October, has to be taken care of as a plant for the next year’s summer.
Semi-hardy Vegetables: They can thrive in slight frost with some protection, such as a cold frame. You can also choose to harvest them before severe frosts begin. For example, cabbage can flourish in slight frosts, but its outside cover might become tough. Whereas root crops like carrots can be harvested in good condition even after being exposed to frost. Plants like cauliflower and leeks will die if left unprotected.
Pro Tip: Make arrangements to store the harvested plants properly. Many crops can be stored by pickling and canning, whilst herbs can be frozen for storage.
Apart from harvesting, you can also consider planting some winter vegetables such as collards, kale, spinach, radishes, broccoli, and turnip.
Allow The Rain To Soak In
After the long months of summer, there’s a possibility that your soil may have become water-repellent (hydrophobic). Since you have to make sure that your plants can receive as much water as possible before the ground freezes, you should start spotting areas affected by water pools. Next, treat them with seaweed-based additives (which contain minerals and nutrients essential for providing a lush green colour and improving root strength) or a soil-wetting agent that helps lower the surface tension, allowing better penetration of liquids.
Don’t forget to clean the heavy layers of fallen autumn leaves that can act as a barrier to the rain and, thus, prevent soil hydration. Use these leaves to make a nutrient-rich compost for your soil.
Invest Time In Pruning
One of the best times for pruning is winter. Pruning is done to remove the dying stubs and branches to create room for fresh growth and protect passersby from injuries. It prevents animal and pest infestation and encourages healthy growth. The process revolves around removing dead branches, cutting down stems that compete with the main leader, and completely removing branches that are crossing each other.
The leafless branches provide an added benefit as they make the tree’s form a lot more visible, allowing you to pick up problems like double leaders and crossing wood earlier. Once the flower buds have set, you can also start with hydrangea pruning to enjoy a beautiful display next year.
The winter season is also a great time to prune your roses. It will enhance wood circulation, remove diseased wood, give a distinct shape to the plant, and stimulate the growth and development of flowering wood. When the pruning is complete, start preparing the shrubs for winter. Species like hybrid roses are vulnerable and require more protection, whereas species like ballerina roses are easier to grow. For the best results, pile up extra soil to protect the root balls and add a seaweed-based product to encourage frost tolerance and drought resistance.
Keep Up With Your General Garden Maintenance
Whilst you’re taking care of the major activities, you should also remember to take care of the minute yet significant aspects of your garden. Here’s a list of the things you should look out for:
Mow your lawn before heavy snow arrives to avoid the development of brown patches in the grass
Use a plastic cover to protect your compost pile from heavy snow
Turn off the watering system when frost arrives
Put away your tools to secure them from extremely low temperatures. You can hang a bucket in your toolshed or garage to store various equipment like sprinkler attachments and hose nozzles.
From allowing you to maintain a lovely garden to harvesting and enjoying delicious vegetables, gardening regularly during the chilly months can be very rewarding. Just make sure to wrap up in a cosy blanket and reward yourself with a warm drink afterwards!
Need some help with how to take care of your garden over the winter season? Just book one of our Landscape Design Gurus here! They can look at your space over video chat and give you tips, ideas and guidance on how to achieve an outdoor space that you love!