Don’t let the cold keep you inside! Although it might not be the busiest time of year for your garden, there are always jobs to tackle, whatever the weather. Winter is a great time to catch up on gardening tasks that may have been neglected during the busy growing season, and keeping on top of your maintenance you can set the stage for a successful growing season and enjoy a beautiful garden all year round. Here are a few winter gardening jobs that can help keep your garden looking its best
Take Hardwood Cuttings
Hardwood cuttings provide an easy and reliable method of propagating a range of climbers, trees and shrubs. They are best taken from mid-autumn until late winter and often grown outdoors in a prepared trench. However, if you are only taking a small number, you can grow them in containers too.
Protect Plants Vulnerable to Frost
Cold, wet, windy winter weather can damage trees, shrubs and garden structures. Improving shelter, staking plants, mulching, wrapping pots and insulating plants will help to prevent this kind of damage.
Prevent Water Sources from Freezing Over
The quickest and cheapest method of stopping a body of water from freezing over is to float something on the surface. You can try anything that will move on top of the water, such ping pong balls, tennis balls or empty water bottles. The constant movement of the object will keep air getting into the pond and stop the surface from completely sealing.
Plant Trees and Shrubs
As long as the ground is not frozen, winter is the perfect time to plant trees and shrubs, giving them plenty of time to establish themselves for the summer.
Feed Birds and Wildlife
The colder months can be a tough time for the birds and wildlife as natural food sources are scarce. Give them a helping hand through the winter by leaving fresh food and water for them regularly.
Clean and Store Gardening Tools
Winter is a great time to clean and sharpen your gardening tools to ensure they are in good condition for the upcoming growing season. Clean them with a hot soapy water, dry thoroughly, and lubricate any moving parts with oil. Store them in a dry, protected location to prevent rust and deterioration.
Mulch Beds and Trees
Applying a layer of mulch to your garden beds and around the base of trees can help protect the roots and prevent weeds from growing. Mulch also helps to retain moisture in the soil and can improve the overall appearance of your garden. Be sure to use a mulch that is appropriate for your climate and plants.