While the cold weather and gloomy skies of winter may make gardening seem like a chore, there are still plenty of things you can do to keep your garden thriving and prepare for the busy spring ahead. Here are 10 essential winter gardening tasks that will help you make the most of the season:
- Clean Patios and Decks – Choose a calm, non-windy day to tackle this task. Use a pressure washer to remove any slippery, slime-like goo from your patio or deck. This is a therapeutic task that will leave your outdoor living spaces looking spotless. If you don’t have a pressure washer, you can always rent one or borrow one from a neighbour.
- Garden Maintenance – Performing general garden maintenance tasks will make your yard look neater and save you time when the weather warms up. Simple jobs like tying back climbing plants, weeding lightly, mulching around trees and shrubs, and clearing gutters are all great to get done on winter days.
- Plant Trees – Winter is the ideal time to plant trees. The soil is moist and provides the roots with the necessary moisture to establish themselves before the weather heats up. Energy will be directed to the roots rather than the leaves, increasing the chances of healthy tree growth. Discover which tree is right for your garden here.
- Prune Trees and Shrubs – Pruning trees and shrubs in winter is a good idea because you can get a clear view of the shape and structure of the plant. Prune deciduous trees and shrubs to encourage healthy growth during the upcoming seasons. Remember to do your research on each plant’s specific requirements and prune with caution. Alternatively, hire a professional to ensure the pruning is done correctly.
- Get Quotes and Book Landscape Projects – Winter is an excellent time to obtain quotes for larger garden projects. If you are planning to have landscaping work done in the new year, it is worth researching, obtaining quotes, and booking the job before reputable firms become fully booked. Contact Hortlands to discuss your landscaping project.
- Secure Boundaries – Inspect and reinforce any fences and boundaries to ensure they are secure. Wind damage is more prevalent during this time of year. If you require a stronger fence, we can assist! We can install fences, plant instant hedges, and even install gates if needed.
- Make Your Garden Wildlife-Friendly – Birds and other wildlife require assistance throughout the year, but particularly during the harsh winter months. You can help by providing bird feeders, both hanging and ground feeders, filled with a variety of seeds, nuts, and suet. You can also melt a hole in the ice on any ponds to allow wildlife to drink or leave some small piles of leaves and cuttings as shelter for small hibernating animals.
- Clear Out Dead Plants and Leaves – Remove dead plants and leaves from your garden to prevent them from becoming breeding grounds for pests and diseases. This will also help to improve air circulation and sunlight penetration, which is essential for healthy plant growth.
- Protect Sensitive Plants – Cover sensitive plants with a layer of mulch or straw to protect them from the cold and frost. This will help to retain moisture in the soil and prevent damage to the plants’ leaves and stems.
- Plan Your Spring Planting – Use the winter months to plan your spring planting schedule. Consider which plants you want to add to your garden and when they are best to plant. You can also start to prepare your soil by adding organic matter and amendments.
By following these essential winter gardening tasks, you can keep your garden looking great and ensure that it is ready to flourish in the spring. With a little planning and effort, you can have a beautiful and productive garden all year round.