There’s no need to wait for the warmer months to arrive to get into the garden, if you’re lucky enough to have one. While you might just want to stay inside if it’s super cold or raining, you can certainly take advantage of those beautiful chilly but sunny days we get by doing a tidy and some prep for the spring days which are just around the corner.
Working with your hands and being close to nature can be a great mood-booster too, so if you can find the time to get those green fingers working - go for it. Take a look at our ideas below to get you started.
1. Tend to your roses
It’s wonderful to have a burst of colour from roses in the garden - a flower you can find outside throughout the year. Just remember to take care of them by pruning gently and removing any distressed or dying stems - and wait for their return as the years roll on.
2. Protect less sturdy plants
Tropical plants, along with certain fruit and vegetables, such as tomatoes, cucumbers and squash, will be badly affected by frost, so if you have any of these growing in your garden, it’s worth considering covering them over if you can. If you have plants in easily movable pots, take them to a sheltered space. Otherwise, leave whatever you have growing where it is and cover with hessian or straw instead.
3. Get planting
If you’re thinking ahead to spring, there is definitely some garden prep you can do for the coming months. It’s a good time to plant bare-root trees and bushes, and if you’re keen to get some vegetables on the go, broad beans are a good option.
Plant them directly from seeds in winter, preferably under a cloche, and they should harvest around May. Rhubarb can be planted in winter too. If you’ve grown it in a pot, you can plant it in the ground preferably next to a wall or fence so it’s protected from really strong winds, but as it’s very hardy, there’s no need to cover it - just clear away stems and leaves as they die off.
4. Find time for a clear-out
Got a greenhouse? Winter is a great time to do a de-clutter, as lots of the plants in there will be dormant. Taking everything out entirely will allow you to give it a really good clean. Use warm soapy water to wipe algae and dirt from the glass and sweep the leaves away ready for a tidy new space as the months roll on.
5. Store your gardening equipment safely
The cold weather can be harsh on tools like spades, forks and hand trowels, causing warping and rusting. If you have a shed or garage, keep them in there, otherwise shelter them in your house if that’s an option. Alternatively, try and pop them into a sealed waterproof bag.
6. Remember the wildlife
Perhaps your garden is full of feathered friends as well as greenery. If that’s the case, think about getting - or topping up - your bird feeders. Check on your water baths to gently melt the ice on them so the birds can enjoy a drink. If you want to make sure squirrels can’t get to the seeds you could think about buying a squirrel-proof feeder.
7. Find a moment to enjoy your garden
As much as we get there’s lots to do in the garden, do also take the time to enjoy it a little too - observing the nature around you and taking in the fruits of your labour. If you have a garden chair, take a moment to sit in it, clear your mind and relax. With a cup of tea if you fancy. You deserve it.