Read our guide on how to prep your garden for winter to ensure pops of colour and new growth come spring and summer…
1. Clean up the garden beds by removing dead vegetation and raking together fallen leaves.
2. Add a layer of compost or mulch (using the fallen leaves you’ve raked up). Mulch creates an insulating layer that will protect plants from harsh temperature changes. If you don’t have enough fallen leaves you can also use bark chips (available from most nurseries).
3. Cut back dead perennials to keep them happy. Remember to mulch and fertilise after cutting back to promote growth and flowering.
4. Prune trees and shrubs. Once their leaves have dropped you’ll have a good indication of the shape of trees and shrubs, and can now cut them back to the shape you want. It’s also easier to get rid of dead or diseased branches.
5. Move plants in small containers indoors or to a greenhouse. Some plants simply can’t stand the cold, so give them a new home during the winter months.
6. Remember to prune those roses in July. About two thirds of the rose bush should be removed, prune at a 45 degree angle and feed with a good rose fertiliser.
7. Only water your plants in the morning; late afternoon watering could result in plants freezing when the colder, nighttime temperatures hit.
8. Plant spring-flowering bulbs like daffodils, tulips and hyacinths for a beautiful display in spring. April is a good time to plant both winter – and spring- flowering plants.
9. Spring clean your greenhouse, shed or storage room. You won’t be using your garden tools as often as you would in summer, so winter is the best time to clean, throw out and organise.
10. Switch the irrigation off or change the timer. If you make use of an irrigation system you’ll want to change it from its summer-watering schedule to one suited to winter (i.e., morning watering and less of it).
11. Ensure you have enough winter-flowering annuals like English daisy, Iceland poppies, snapdragons, pansies and violas, to add pops of colour to an otherwise drab winter garden.
12. Don’t forget about indoor plants, they’ll also need some protection against the cold. Water less frequently and if necessary move them to a sunnier spot in your home. Primulas make fantastic indoor plants, especially if you’re looking for some colour during winter.
13. Keep birds coming back by hanging feeders and picking up seeds and nuts from your local pet store or garden nursery. Birds who frequent your garden during spring and summer won’t find the same food during winter, so keep them satisfied with an alternative.