How to winter-fy your garden

The heater's on, your warmest jumpers are out of storage and you've put an extra blanket on your bed: You're ready for winter. But don't forget, your garden also needs some help getting ready for the colder weather.

Don't leave your garden to fend for itself during the cold winter months - a little preparation will go a long way and come springtime, you'll be pleased you put in the effort.

Here are the top tips for winter garden prep, from Angie Thomas, horticulture consultant to Yates.

  1. In cool areas, plants can become damaged due to frost and cold winds. Ensure you spray tender foliage and vulnerable plants with a protective spray to help prevent unwanted damage.
  2. During winter, lawn growth will slow. Broadleaf weeds, however, actively grow and can rapidly infest your lawn. To combat weeds, such as bindii and clover, it's essential to apply a selective herbicide while they are still small and haven’t had the chance to flower or set seed. Ensure you repair any bare patches in your lawn, as these can be a magnet for weeds.

  3. The idea you shouldn't fertilise your plants in winter is a myth. If a plant is growing new foliage, flowering or you're expecting a winter harvest - i.e. if the plant is 'doing something' - then make sure you keep feeding them throughout winter.
  4. Bad weather conditions such as storms, rain and high winds are common during winter and can hurt your delicate potted plants. Protect these plants from the elements under the shelter of a veranda or patio.
  5. As the weather cools down and particularly after rain, snails and slugs will come out from their hiding spots and devour your precious plants. Be prepared for this onslaught by applying a light sprinkling of some snail and slug pellets around plants.

  6. During winter, roses will lose all their leaves, so make sure to give them a prune. For bush roses, cut them down to around knee-height and ideally just above an outward facing bud. This not only keeps them looking tidy, it will help to set your roses up for a better spring and summer flowering season.
  7. Just because it's winter, doesn’t mean you can’t keep growing your own veggies. Continue to sow or plant cool season veggies so your kitchen remains well-stocked. Fast growing leafy veggies, like spinach, lettuce and Asian greens, are ideal (and super healthy!).

If you're hungry for more winter gardening ideas, read up on everything you can plant in your garden in June.

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