The biggest mistake people can make is neglecting their garden during the colder months of the year. It is true; some trees, plants and grasses do go dormant when the temperatures drop; however, the mild weather and lack of growth provides the perfect opportunity to do everything that can’t be done during the peak growth periods.
BYE BYE AUTUMN
Autumn may be over, but there are still signs of it everywhere. Leaf litter can become extremely slippery after rainfall, not to mention detrimental to your lawn, which will already be struggling to adapt to the cooler conditions. It can also smother small plants at this time of year, so if there is only one thing you do in the garden during winter; this is it! A blower or a blower vac is the best tool to tackle this task.
As most states have experienced a typically dry start to 2019, now is a good time to establish bare-rooted trees and winter vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli. Your soil will be nice and moist at this time of year. Winter, however, is not the time to introduce plants and vegetables from warmer climates to your garden, so be careful when choosing what to plant at this time of year.
The health of your soil will also determine the success of any new additions to your garden, so this must be the starting point to give your new plantings the best chance of survival. Cultivating your soil before adding new plants will allow air and rainfall to move through the soil easily, facilitating absorption right down to the roots of new and existing plants. The STIHL KombiSystem with the pick tynes attachment will take the physical exertion out of this task, allowing you to turn and mix your soil with ease.
Tree Maintenance & Pruning
Deciduous trees are likely to have shed all of their leaves now that autumn has come to an end. If you have been wanting to reshape your trees, or make some height adjustments, now’s the time to do it. It’s also a good time to weatherproof your home. Focus on removing the three Ds – dead, diseased and damaged, these limbs will pose the greatest risk to your gutters and your home during winter squalls. A telescopic pole pruner will help you reach limbs up to 5m from the ground. However, if you live on a larger property with well-established gums, it is best to get a professional out to assess anything out of reach to reduce the risk to your property, and more importantly, your family. If you are lucky enough to have an open fireplace at home, this is a great excuse to get out the chainsaw and stock of your woodpile!
This time of year is also the time to prune back your roses. The same rule applies here; dead, diseased or damage stems should be removed, along with thin stems showing weak growth; it is unlikely that these will produce a flower come Spring.
DON’T FORGET YOUR LAWN
One of the great things about winter is that you won’t have to water your lawn as often, if at all. That’s not to say that your lawn will take care of itself, however. With winter comes those pesky weeds which will quickly grow out of control if left to run wild. Winter’s a good time to spray them; if you allow them to seed, they will return an even bigger problem next winter! Be sure trim them back using your grass trimmer beforehand.
It is also normal for your lawn to lose some colour during the cooler months, particularly those areas more exposed to the elements, such as your nature strip. The degree of colour loss will depend on your climate, and the aspect of your lawn. Try not to worry too much; it may be cold, but spring will be here before you know it!
For more advice on caring for your garden through the cooler months, visit your local STIHL Dealer.