1. Take care of your lawn
Maintaining your lawn in winter will make sure it is lush and green in the growing season. During winter, your lawn soil is at risk of becoming compacted, which means water won't reach the roots of the lawn and can potentially pool.
Our suggestion is to aerate the soil so the water can reach the roots. For smaller lawns, a pitchfork can be used, but larger lawns require an efficient lawn aerator from an equipment hire service.
Another option is to top-dress the lawn with coarse sand or loam. If puddling persists, opt for a hose on wetting agent that will breakdown the soil without harming the lawn.
Be sure to limit feeding and fertilizing your lawn during winter. Not much growth takes place in cold weather so your lawn doesn't require extra nutrition.
Last but not least, keep an eye for weeds in your lawn in winter. A key tip to ensure the weeds don't return is by removing them after it rains. A weed hand is important to use for stubborn weeds such as bindis to prevent harming the lawn.
2. Get mulching
To prevent weeds from popping up in your garden, try mulching in winter. This action can also help the soil. Try to use organic mulch to help feed your garden beds when it breaks down over time. According to Stuart Tucker from Hipages, the ideal time to mulch is after a rain, when you can pull weeds out by the roots rather than leaving roots in the ground to respawn.
Keep an eye out for snails and slugs, which often pop up in wet weather. These insects are a disaster for your garden, and the best way to remove them is either by hand or by placing a tray of beer less than 10mm above the soil. Snails and slugs are drawn to the yeast in the beer but will also drown when they reach it.
According to Stuart Tucker from Hipages, the ideal time to mulch is after a rain, when you can pull weeds out by the roots rather than leaving roots in the ground to respawn.
3. Prune shrubs and trees
Winter is the ideal time to prune many trees and shrubs. In order to avoid pruning too early, aim for August and wait for plants to die before pruning them.
Try to avoid pruning flowers that bloom in late winter or early spring. Your best bet is to research a plant before pruning it to avoid causing more harm than good.
However, you can prune dead branches back. Roses can be pruned in July as long as you don't leave them until August.
Plants that flower in winter require fertilising and watering between rain in order to help them flower and remain healthy.
If you would like to plant winter flowering plants, be sure to do this in Spring and early summer.
4. Plant a winter vegetable garden
Planting vegetables now will mean that they'll be ready by late winter or early spring. Select an area with a decent amount of winter sun as winter vegetables still need some warmth to germinate, grow and thrive.
Tucker has suggested that the best vegetables for winter temperatures are snow peas, broad beans, English spinach, green beans and peas. If you live in milder, subtropical areas you have a larger range of choices, including broccoli, lettuce, onions, radishes, shallots, spinach, spring onions and turnips.
A good way to ward off garden pests without using pesticides is companion planting and organic pesticides, to avoid harmful toxins on your vegetables.
Tucker has suggested that the best vegetables for winter temperatures are snow peas, broad beans, English spinach, green beans and peas.
5. Add some winter colour
Planting winter plants in pots will add winter beauty to your garden. Several plants flower in winter and can be found at nurseries (opt for plants that are already flowering). Plant them carefully in a sunny spot and keep them watered and fertilised.
If you haven't planted any winter flowers or vegetables in your garden yet, the next best time to plant them is in early autumn.
There are many plants that thrive in winter, and the key is to know which ones will thrive in your area. Your local nursery will be able to inform you of which plants grow best in this season.
If you maintain your garden during winter, it will thrive in spring and summer.
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