The winter months are quite often the ‘maybe’ months in the garden. Maybe I’ll do this… maybe I’ll do that… or maybe I won’t do anything because it’s too cold! But however much you decide to do in the garden this winter there is always one thing you should keep in mind –the next few months are pretty perfect for just about any outdoor job.
Motivation is usually the key when it comes to cool weather gardening, but once you’ve ventured out into that winter sunshine you’ll soon find the chill disappears. Some of you might even prefer gardening in the crisp, wintry air –something that certainly makes a nice hot cup of tea or coffee all the more rewarding!
Garden maintenance at this time of year should never cease completely with plenty that can still be done. Lawns need very little cutting but grassed areas can still be raked and aerated with a fork to improve future drainage. Any waterlogged sections of the garden can also easily be identified after a heavy winter downpour and most of the time these problem areas are pretty straightforward enough to have fixed.
Above all winter is the chance to get things in order and prepare for the onslaught of the seasons to come. There is a respite of sorts as the majority of plant growth dwindles to almost nothing; so apart from pruning away anything that might be dead or dying there’s very little growth you need to keep in check.
Of course any garden work you do happen to finish over the winter will leave you with slightly less on your plate come spring. At the very least, a bit of maintenance now means you can hit the ground running when September rolls around.
But it’s also the time to plan ahead! Entertaining areas like decks and paved areas can all be worked out and, weather permitting, finished by the time it begins to warm again. Hard landscaping is actually quite a good job for those cooler times of the year –provided the rain co-operates.
And if you’re after a feature tree or need to fill in some empty spaces, bare-rooted trees can be ordered over the next few months and planted while their roots are still dormant. Preparing a hole well in advance is a good idea, giving time for any manure to break down before a new bare-root planting goes in.
Existing deciduous trees will have shed nearly all their leaves by now, making it the perfect time to check trees and shrubs for diseased and damaged wood. Shape can also be created and maintained now that all the leaves have dropped away.
Aside from any major projects you might have in the works an overall general clean-up is really what you should have in mind for this time of year; cutting back and tidying, lifting and dividing –think of it all as a pre-spring clean.
So maybe think about tackling some of those garden jobs this winter –it’ll be worth it!