Winter In The Garden*




*This is a collaborative post*

Just because winter is neary here does not mean there are no jobs to be done in the garden. Keeping your garden in order is a year-round task, and there is always something that needs to be done.

New Plants

Roses and bare rooted shrubs should be planted now before the ground starts to freeze. While it is still soft the conditions will encourage new rooting. It is also a good time to dig up and replant anything woody that you want to put somewhere else.

If you want to create a new hedge, plant some beech, hawthorn or hornbeam. If you plant any new trees, make sure you stake it well to prevent the roots being pulled out in a strong wind. 

Protect Your Vegetables 

Some vegetables will be ruined as the frost starts. You are better off for instance, lifting parsnips and storing them in boxes of sand to keep them disease free. Cauliflower curds will suffer if the frost gets to them so wrap their leaves around them and secure with string.


Image source Pixabay


Fruits 

Although some people tend to associate fruits with summer, now is the best time to plant bare-root fruit trees and bushes. Summer fruiting raspberries and blackcurrants are just two examples. What you must do though is incorporate plenty of organic matter into the planting hole. You may need to make a visit to Vitax Garden World to get this, but it is vitally important to help any trees and bushes you plant now survive the winter months. The harvest of apples and pears you have in dark boxes in a cool place need checking occasionally, and any that have gone bad need removing before they infect any others.


Caring For Flowers 

Flowers are more likely to die in severe frosts than any other plants. Things like dahlias should be lifted now. You should shake off any excess soil, wash them clean and leave them outside to dry. Store them in trays that have plenty of air circulation and they will be ready to put back in the ground next spring. If you have any flowers that you don't think will make it through, why not cut them and bring them into your home as flowers can really cheer the place up in winter. 

This time of year is good for planting tulips, but because the weather is so unpredictable, you are better off starting them in containers. When spring does come, they will then be ready to plant outside and you will soon have your first show of colour for next year.

Any flowering shrubs you have should be cut back so that all the flowers are taken off, and late flowering perennials should be treated the same. Protect young and hardy plants by putting straw on the ground to prevent the frost having such a severe effect on them.

Generally, as a rule of thumb, if the roots of a plant will suffer in frost, lift them and put them inside for protection. Some will fare well in containers over the winter months as long as they have plenty of light and some water. 

Then look at other things around your garden that might need removing. Electirc pumps and lights should be brought inside before the weather gets really bad, and you might want to put all your garden furniture away until next summer.

*Contributed by Sam Jones. Header photo source Pixabay.



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