9 top tips to make the best of your garden this winter

By Derek Martin Photography
By Derek Martin Photography

Help is at hand for people keen to stay on top of their gardens during the cold winter months.

You can make the best of your garden despite the bad weather.

Photo by Derek Martin Photography.

Photo by Derek Martin Photography.

A spokesman for GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk said: “Every keen gardener knows that the colder months are hardly peak growing season, but there are still many ways to maintain productivity on your plot when the days get shorter.

“It’s crucial to make the best of limited time while the weather is at its worst or else gardeners could start the growing season in the new year on the wrong foot.”

Here are the nine top tips:

1- Clear up

Wait for a dry day to weed, rake fallen leaves and remove the remains of summer crops in preparation for next year; leaving them to rot will only invite disease or pests.

2 - Help crops

Apply a layer of compost or manure wherever possible to give beds a winter nutritional boost, spread mulch to keep weak crops warm and move any particularly vulnerable species into safe storage before the worst of the weather.

3- Harvest well

Pluck Brussels sprouts from the bottom up and only pick parsnips only after the first frost or two because the drop in temperature gives them their sweet flavour by turning starches into sugars.

4- Take a flask

Nothing warms a gardener’s body better on a cold winter plot than taking a break with a hot and convenient flask of tea, coffee or soup.

See also:

9 top tips to protect your Christmas tree from your pets

Help hedgehogs, squirrels and birds survive the cold winter months

You can help compile a list of Sussex hedgehog sightings

5 - Check equipment

With the lack of heat and daylight preventing much growing over the winter, it is the perfect time to give everything a once-over: Do any tools need fixing or replacing? Is the wheelbarrow wheel wobbly? Do metal or wooden items need oiling? Are the mouse traps working? Are the shed door locks and window latches secure?

6 - Keep off the grass

Try not to walk on frozen grass wherever possible as it could severely damage brittle strands and any footprints could remain until regrowth in warmer spring conditions.

7 - Dress warm

Make sure to always wear thick socks, a couple of jumpers and appropriate gardening gloves during the winter so being outdoors for a prolonged period doesn’t become unpleasant.

8 - Organise for spring

Down-time during a bleak winter day is the perfect opportunity to do some planning for when the weather improves and flick through seed catalogues.

9 - Water

Don’t neglect the watering needs of your soil and any winter plants just because the temperature is low – several consecutive dry days could be just as devastating in the winter as in the summer, so take the watering can around the plot if it hasn’t rained for a while.