With our gardens no longer in full bloom, it’s time to say goodbye to our favourite seasonal delights and prepare our gardens for winter!
Whether you’re swapping out sweet peas for pansies or you’ve decided to start your own project with parsnips, leeks, and carrots, find out the best tips in our guide to protecting your outdoor plants this winter.
Surviving the cold
With the UK rarely seeing above two hours of sunshine a day through December and January, gardening throughout the winter months might require a bit more grit.
However, there’s still plenty of room for creativity and new growth: read on for some practical steps to keep you busy in the garden while you wait for spring.
1. Insulate with mulch
Using a layer of mulch across soil can help prevent your beds from drying out or being taken over by unwelcome weeds. Natural materials can be used to cover the surface, and we’d recommend starting this process in late winter to trap in moisture from wet weather and protect plant roots from freezing.
2. Cover with a cloche
Protect the plants you’ve been working hard to plant and nurture with a garden cloche this winter. Thanks to its compact size, a cloche is like a portable polytunnel, making it the perfect protector for a veg patch or flowerbed growing in limited space.
If you’re growing in a patio or raised bed, garden cloches are an ideal solution to protect your plants from harsh weather, birds, and pests.
3. Bring potted plants inside
Some of your more delicate flowering plants could be more vulnerable to the cold conditions. If they’re easy enough to pick up, why not shelter them inside a greenhouse or your home? Provided they have access to direct sunlight, moving them indoors will ensure they’re protected from the worst of the weather.
4. Plant in raised beds
Giving plants a few inches of height could significantly help them to survive over winter. A tiny bit more warmth makes a lot of difference, and they’ll also have a bit more protection from pests crawling on the ground.
5. Prune dormant plants
Pruning not only helps to promote stronger growth in the new season, but it could be a fun activity for a sunny afternoon once the temperatures start to drop. Grapevines, roses, wisteria, and different types of fruit tree all benefit from being trimmed back. Why not pick up a new pair of gardening gloves to protect your hands from sharp shears?
If you invest time to protect your plants over winter, you’ll be rewarded with your garden bouncing back in full bounty as spring comes around.