The Winter Garden is often ignored and I understand as it often wet, dark and cold at this time of year and the last thing you want to do is get into the garden to do jobs! However, getting outside in the winter is important for our health; it gives us a boost and keeps us fit. There are lots of jobs you can be getting on with in the garden in the Winter.
Here are my top 5:
1. Repair, clean and build!
Wash your pots and tools, repair that broken pane in the greenhouse, repair the rose arch. During the Winter it’s time to repair, clean and build when the plants are dormant. I plan to repair the Greenhouse but also give it a clean and I need to lower a shelf in there as my tomatoes need more vertical space next year.
2. Sort out ponds.
My poor pond has a leak! We were pruning the large overhanging trees last winter and one branch fell into the pond and it must have made a hole in the liner. Its more of a puddle now and is quickly filling with fallen leaves as it really is in the wrong place. I think we are going to move the pond to another area of the garden where there is a more open aspect. During the late Autumn, it is also a good time to take out the plants in your pond and prune them or take out pond weed if there is too much. Hibernating amphibians leave the pond in the winter to hibernate under nearby logs so try not to disturb nearby rocks and logs if possible.
3. Remove leaves and branches from your lawn.
Keep removing fallen leaves and branches from your lawn. You make a space for them in an old compost bin where they can rot down making lovely leaf mould which is a great mulch to put on the garden later on. You can continue to cut your lawn if it needs it but put the blades up so that you don’t rip pieces of the lawn out. Spiking the lawn with a garden fork to help with drainage in very wet weather.
4. Remove unwanted plants, clear perennials and tie in climbers.
Winter is the time to take out unwanted plants and clear away any that just did not work. I don’t tend to clear the perennial beds until early Spring as I think that it is better for wildlife to leave them. I then cut back old stems and have a tidy up in late February or early March when I will also add mulch to help protect the soil from new weed growth. Winter is the time to tie in your climbers too. I tend to prune my roses in late winter/early spring to encourage new growth.
5. Vegetable garden work
Winter is a great time to weed the vegetable patch and add compost or even kitchen waste so that it can rot down on site. You can prune your fruit trees in winter to encourage rapid spring growth. Protect any Winter crops and divide rhubarb if you have any. My poor rhubarb has some rot so I will remove that.
Don’t forget to feed the birds in Winter and check your compost bin for hedgehogs and slow worms before you turn it. I tend to leave my compost bin completely in the Winter as I have a huge bin! This means any wildlife living in it (and I know that the slow worms hibernate in here) will not be disturbed.