Jobs to do over the winter

The short dark days and inclement weather can make the prospect of gardening this time of the year both unattractive and potentially unproductive. However, a little bit of planning can get your garden ready for a great year ahead.

Tools Maintenance
Gather all the tools that you have used and give them a good cleaning to remove all the dirt and rust. Use a mild detergent to disinfect pots and seed trays.

Wood Conservation
Check out fences, sheds, gates, and other structures for signs of weakness or rot and get them repaired on a sunny day.

Lawn Care
The lawn needs a bit of a breather over the winter months so “keep off the grass” is the best advice. Make an exception to get rid of large weeds, moss and leaves.

Give sheds and greenhouses a good scrub and organise all those garden tools you cleaned earlier. Spruce up tables and chairs as well.

The Vegetable Garden
Cover root vegetables such as parsnips and carrots with 15cm of leaves or straw and they can be harvested throughout the winter. If snow is forecast cover with an old piece of carpet!

Plants and Shrubs
Dead-head autumn-flowering plants and prune summer-flowering shrubs before the first frosts. Brush any heavy snow from shrubs and trees to prevent broken branches.

If you don’t already have a compost heap or bin, this is as good a time as any to start one, with all the leaves and cuttings to be disposed of. For those who already have a bin, a good stir will help the composting process along.

Protecting Wildlife
Putting out fat blocks and other food will not only help local wildlife to survive the winter but will encourage birds, frogs, hedgehogs etc to stay in the garden and they will repay the favour a hundredfold by eradicating many garden pests in the coming year.

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