Autumn is well and truly upon us and whilst some evenings are still fairly mild it won’t be long until Winter sets in with vengeance and we wake up to frosty mornings and go home to frosty nights. This may make the sound of gardening rather unattractive and seemingly pointless, but in fact winter is a fantastic time to make some strategic planning and get well ahead on preparing your garden for the following year.
The first step is cleaning! Get out all your garden tools that have seen so much action in the warmer summer months and give them the thorough cleaning they deserve to keep them pristine for next summer. This is also a good time to disinfect any old, unused pots or seed trays.
Next, make sure your garden is as well cared for as it can be during the colder months. It’s a good idea to try and stay off the grass and give it a bit of time recoup. You can also get rid of any weeds, fallen leaves etc. Any vegetable patches will need to be protected so cover root vegetables like carrots with leaves or straw and you can continue to harvest them throughout the winter months. If snow is on the horizon you may want to use something a bit more durable like an old piece of carpet.
You can take care of any plants and trees by trying to keep them as clear of snow as possible and getting read of any dead plants that are too late to save. Any old plants, fallen leaves etc can be used in your compost bin so if you don’t have one already there isn’t a much better time to start one.
Finally, even though the winter months can be harsh, there are some crops that will flourish during this period if taken care of. As well as protecting what is already there you can look to add to your garden throughout winter. Fruit is obviously out of the question, but leafier produce such as spinach, lettuce, kale, leeks and turnips are all great to grow during this period. If you really can’t leave your garden alone find out what you could be planting and nurturing for the next few months and get busy.
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