Winter is a terrific time to be in the garden. Conditions are cooler, it’s less physically demanding work, soils are moist, and there are many plants that undertake their annual growth cycle at this time of year.
The secret to having the best Spring garden is to not neglect it during the cooler months. As a proud major partner and exclusive supplier of garden power tools to the Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria, we’ve teamed up with the best horticulturalists in the business to bring you eight tips to keep your garden thriving at this fruitful time of year.
1. CLEAN IT UP!
Be sure to get rid of the last of the autumn leaves with a blower or blower vac. Leaves can become slippery after rain, not to mention detrimental to your lawn, and can smother small plants!
2. Prepare for frost
In addition, watch out for frosts, and with heavy soils drainage can also be an issue. A sensible solution to frosts is to plant frost tender plants in protected areas, and more tolerant plants out in the open. Similarly, try selecting plants that are more tolerant of wetter soils in those areas that are likely to get boggy.
3. get pruning
Winter is rose pruning time, and a great opportunity to reshape trees with a chainsaw or pole pruner, particularly deciduous trees that have shredded their leaves during autumn. In addition, for those with wood heaters, this is a cheap way to stock up your woodpile.
4. Veggies galore!
In the vegetable garden, winter is the perfect time to grow brassicas, such as broccoli and cauliflowers. It is also a great time to plant and establish a range of garden herbs. Many species of native plants are winter flowering, including Correas, Banksias, Acacia and Hakeas. Winter is not the time to establish plants from warmer climates, such as palms and hibiscus – nor is it the time to attempt to establish any warm season vegetables.
5. Plant smart
Plant to optimise your conditions. Try to position plants where they are best suited in regards to the area’s microclimates and the plant’s specific needs. For example, growing sun-loving species with a north facing aspect will allow these plants to take full advantage of sunny brakes through the winter months.
6. Keep your trimmer handy!
Be aware that grassy weeds are actively growing at this time of the year – these can be easily managed with the use of grass trimmers. A chainsaw will also help tidy up the mess left behind after winter squalls.
7. Love your lawn – always
It’s best to start preparing your lawn in late summer and autumn as many warm season grasses, like Kikuyu and Buffalo, become quite dormant over the winter months. Rye grasses and Fescues will be more active over the cooler months. Make sure to watch out for broad leaved weeds that can thrive in winter time. And while lawn growth does slow down in winter, they will still require some attention. Keeping the edges neat and tidy with a grass trimmer is a year round job.
8. Don’t stop!
Many people consider winter as a time where gardening goes ‘on hold’ for a couple of months. Whilst certainly colder and greyer, winter is in fact a great time to get out in the garden, so perhaps the biggest mistake people can make is to stop gardening during the fruitful winter period!
Neglecting your garden also means neglecting your tools, which is another mistake people making during winter. As the demands of your garden change during the cooler months, it’s a great time to get the tools more frequently used during spring and summer serviced, cleaned and sharpened at your local STIHL Dealer.