The nights are dark, days are cold, leaves have fallen, and we’re spending far less time in our gardens as a result. However, there’s still a few jobs that gardeners should get stuck into during the midwinter months – benefiting not just the garden come spring, but structures, animals, and the wider environment. Here are five top things to focus on.
Tidy up – rake up leaves and stack logs
You may have been on top of this during October and November, but given leaves are falling later in the year due to climate change, there may be some strewn across your lawn that could do with a rake. The same is true for sticks and logs – stack them up, especially if you want to enjoy a log fire or two when the weather’s less wet.
The bonus of tidying up your garden is that you’ll create habitats for animals to shelter from the cold or even hibernate in. Just make sure to follow advice from the Royal Horticultural Society and check any stacks you intend to burn beforehand – they might already be home to animals like hedgehogs, toads, and frogs.
Choose the right plants
Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean that you can’t still get stuck into a bit of planting. If you want to get a leg up on your vegetable growing during the colder months, choose hardy cultivars like broccoli, sprouts, leeks, winter cabbage and kale.
When it comes to more ornamental plants, tougher species of tree and shrub can be moved from pot to ground – giving them time to bed in before their growth spurt in spring and summer.
Protect your kitchen plants
There are plenty of vegetables and herbs that can withstand frost and grow, or be harvested, in winter, but you need to keep them safe from the rigours of the season. To protect them from snow and birds, place thin netting over them. This should keep them safe until the frosty months pass.
Feed the birds
Winter can be a tough time for bird life, so do your bit and put out seeds, nuts, fat balls, and other ornithological treats for the bird life in the garden. This will help them weather winter, as well as invite all sorts of beautiful creatures to your property; great for gazing at from the kitchen window while holding a cuppa!
Protect outdoor buildings
Make sure to protect any outside buildings and structures in your garden so they’re in good condition when you can get properly stuck back into gardening in spring. Give them a quick check to make sure they’re weatherproof (fixing any roof or wall issues while you’re there) and install quality door latches such as these ones onto your shed to reinforce sheds, garages, and gates against heavy winter winds.
If you have outdoor seating, sun loungers, tables and chairs, and won’t be using them often during winter, then be sure to store them in your shed or garage. Even weatherproof furniture can get wracked by cold and wet weather, which, over the years, can really take its toll.
So, there you have it – five great ways to safeguard your garden this winter. How do you protect your plants and make your outdoors a great place to be in the cold months? Let us know in the comments below.