It might be cold outside, but here are our top tips to keep your garden ticking over in winter. There’s plenty to do and, come spring, you’ll be thankful that you took the time to do these jobs!
Insulate outdoor taps
Outdoor taps are prone to freezing – and bursting – during a cold snap, so it’s a good idea to turn them off at the mains, then turn on the tap to let the last of the water run out. Insulating them with foam lagging will prevent freezing too.
Cover clay soils
Digging will be much easier if you cover the soil with polythene – it’ll keep the soil drier and easier to dig.
Aerate your lawn
If you notice water sitting on your lawn, it’s probably a bit compacted and needs aerating. Simply take a garden fork and spike your lawn all over – it’ll improve drainage and give your lawn a real boost.
Clean your tools
Give your gardening tools a good clean to keep them in tip-top condition, ready for action in the spring. Once they’re dry apply linseed oil to stop them rusting over winter.
Check your shed
At this time of year visits to the shed become less frequent and it’s very important to check that your shed is secure.
TLC for brassica plants
If your brassicas are a bit top-heavy, now is the time to stake them to give them some support. Draw up some soil around the base of the plant too – this will prevent wind rocking the plant and damaging the roots.
Check your seeds
Parsnip seed doesn’t keep and is unlikely to germinate well the following year, so it’s always a good idea to take stock of any seeds you’re hanging on to. Another top tip is to write the year that you bought them on the seed packet. This poem by Lawrence D. Hills tells you how long you can keep seeds.
Make Christmas decorations
If you’re lucky enough to have a holly tree and the birds haven’t yet gobbled up all the berries, cut a few of the stems to make garlands, wreaths and table decorations.
For even more top tips for the garden, take a look at our ‘What to do in the garden this month’ pages for great advice and inspiration.