Winter is the perfect time to prep your garden for spring. If the cooler temps have you missing the outdoors, don't let it get you down! Rug up and get outside, there are plenty of winter projects to keep you busy. Here is your guide to winter gardening.
Cool weather clean up
This one might be a no brainer, but it is no less important. Winter is a great time to clean up your yard and get it ready for spring planting. Old plants can invite pests and funguses to the garden, and create an untidy look. Take this time to clean up rotting or dead plants - bury the finished, disease-free, plants in the soil to add organic matter and improve your soil's overall health.
Remove any weeds that have stuck around to give your spring planting the best chance for success. For any invasive weeds, remove them completely by digging up the root and dispose of them in the trast or burning pile. These weeds can thrive in compost so its best not to add them.
Prune back perennials to encourage regrowth in spring and summer. First remove any dead or diseased stems which can bring disease. Start with your summer blooming plants and fruiting trees and bushes. Do your research to find the right time for your plants, but remember that many flowering and fruiting plants are best pruned in winter while they're dormant. Cutting back deciduous shrubs and trees is another great pruning project for winter.
Cleaning the gutters is another great project for the cool months. With the autumn leaves falling and the cool rains moving in, your gutters will be in need of a good clean up. Safely clear leaves and debris from the gutters without a ladder using the WOLF-Garten gutter cleaner.
Adding compost and fertilizer to the soil in early winter will allow time to start breaking down. Your garden beds will use this period to absorb the nutrients, so come spring, your plants can thrive. To prevent the winter rains from washing away your hard work, we suggest covering beds this season. You can add additional compost or fertilizer throughout the winter months and lightly till the soil prior to spring planting.
If you don't already have a compost bin, start one this winter. Composting has tremendous benefits for the environment generally, but especially for your garden! The nutrients stored in organic matter will help your garden thrive, and winter is a great time to nourish your soil in preparation for spring. Use these cooler months to clean out your compost bin and replensish your soil, or if you're just getting started, you can begin with those autmn leaves covering your lawn and any clippings you're cleaning up around the yard.
Bulbs to blooms
Don't miss your chance to divide and plant bulbs this winter. Gently dig up and divide any crowded plants and replant with a bit more room to grow for the next year. If you're itching to do some planting, look for early bloomers like daffodils, hyacinths and certain species of tulips, these are perfect for winter planting.
Mulch, mulch, mulch
Winter is a great time to mulch, or replenish existing mulched areas in the garden. Along with the basic benefits of mulch, such as preventing water loss, erosion and weeds, in winter mulching can also act as an insulation for roots and make the transition into winter temps easier. If you grow any winter crops such as broccoli, kale or cabbage, mulch will help protect and prolong your harvest.
Get your tools up to scratch
We all know keeping our garden tools clean and oiled is important year round, but for many of us winter is the best time to really take our tool care to the next level. While winter can be a slower garden season, there is still plenty to do and you'll need your tools handy! Remove dirt and debris by thoroughly washing and drying your equipment, sharpen hoes, shovels and secateurs and use an oiled rag to lightly coat your tools. This is a great time to treat wooden handles as well. Use a light coating of oil to remove and prevent the wood from drying out, as well as repelling dirt and moisture.
We hope this garden guide has given you the inspiration you need to get outside and keep your passion for gardening alive this winter.