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Gardening Tasks for Winter

Winter is the ideal time for pruning roses, deciduous trees and other shrubs. Too many people think that spring is best for rose pruning but it needs to be done when plants are at their most dormant. Unless you know what you are doing, it is best to have these professionally taken care of, to ensure good growth and a bountiful display.

During winter you should also apply a layer of mulch – if you didn’t get to it in autum – to protect your garden from the elements and improve its structure to enhance spring growth. Don’t leave soil bare or it could become eroded by the weather. Like you, the organisms in it don’t like the cold, so giving them a warm winter blanket is the best way to ensure a healthy, happy garden.

Use the cold months to check and repair garden tools which should be cleaned and stored tidily in a shed out of the weather. It is also an excellent time to repair garden edges, fences, paths, climbers, compost bins etc., and remove any rubbish you have lying around that is not compostable or recyclable.

Use the time when it’s not nice outdoors to plan your beds for spring. We can help you with this, but some gardeners like to do their own planning and preparation. Plant catalogues come out in winter so you have time to decide what to grow during the upcoming season. Buy your seeds and get them underway early. Don’t plant too early though, because your seedlings will be ready to go into the garden when the soil is still too cold. This causes transplant shock and your delicate seedlings may simply keel over and you will have to start again.

Prepare a place to grow your seedlings, preferably under cover – a light shed, greenhouse, or cloches so they are protected from the weather. The change from winter to spring is a notoriously difficult time. Just when you think it’s warming up nicely, along comes another cold snap and you’re back to winter temperatures again. Keep in mind that soil temperatures, not air temperatures, dictate how well plants grow – or not.

If your garden is getting on top of you and you want a hand – whether that's weekly, fortnightly, monthly or seasonally – call Richard at Richard Forbes Gardening for a chat.