01 Jun Winter Gardening Tips
Winter gardening is a long way from the ‘quiet time in the garden’ that many people believe it is! While it might be a little less inviting to head outside on the cold and rainy days, there is plenty to be done to keep your garden happy and healthy. Roses, citrus fruits and your vegetable garden and lawn can all do with some attention to ensure they’re happy through the winter.
The colder months are a perfect time to prepare properly for spring flowers, so let’s get your garden ready for a show this year! Roses require the “June Prune” to ensure they’re ready to flourish and flower in spring (however if you live somewhere really cold, push this back to the other end of winter). Winter is a great time to cut your roses back. Why? With minimal flower and leaves remaining, you can get right into the branches and stems to see what you’re working with and see what needs to be removed and cut. Pruning reduces disease and encourages air circulation by removing small or dead branches that aren’t going to promote good flower growth.
Tips For Caring For Your Roses In Winter
- When you prune the stems, be sure to cut them on a 45-degree angle to reduce water pooling into the stems and close to the buds – this helps to reduce the chance of fungal disease.
- Cut back anything that is damaged, diseased, or dead.
- Allow for three or four (if possible) main growth stems to encourage the new growth in the shape that you desire.
- Give them a feed as winter draws to an end.
- Don’t be afraid to make some big cuts! You can prune back to almost half to encourage lots of new shoots and flowers.\
Other plants to prune in winter when bare include Hydrangeas and Wisteria. It’s handy to clear these out while you can see what you’re doing as it can be tricky to make the right cuts when they’re in full flower. Most spring flowering plants will also need a prune straight after they have finished flowering for the spring. Dead or poor growth branches are best cut during summer when it’s clear to see which ones are not performing.
Citrus plants should get a really good feed in late July to get them happy and healthy for quality fruit production in the coming months. Use an all-purpose citrus fertiliser and give it a good drink if rain is not doing the job for you.
Pooling Water & Mulch
Keep an eye in the garden for where water might be pooling and not getting soaked in. Sometimes the soil can repel water if it’s been dry for some time so it’s a good idea to get some soil wetting agent. This ensures the wonderful rain isn’t going to waste! Mulch is another great option as it can hold the moisture for the plants to absorb later.
Resist the urge to cultivate the soil too heavily. Simply top up the mulch over the clean garden bed, protecting the root system and soils from winter frosts – which will also improve the colour of your winter garden. Especially helpful if your garden has lots of deciduous style trees and plants and can look a little bare in the colder months.
Soil cultivation (turning over / digging up the soil) is really only required if specifically designing a new spring garden bed or preparing for winter veggies.
If you’re planning to plant some winter veggies look for the old winter favourites such as:
- Spring Onions
Make sure you remove your old summer and springs crops and prepare your veggie patch for the new seedlings. Add some compost and fertilizer to add a boost of nutrients into the soil before planting. Here is a great infographic by Searles Gardening on the best type of winter vegetables to plant based on your location in Australia.
Now is also the best time to prepare your lawn for spring. Treat it where possible for weeds, which gives them time to die off and allow room for new grass growth. Resist the urge to mow it “too low” as winter frosts can damage the lawn – so if you’re notorious for mowing low, lift that blade up a notch or two. Your lawn won’t need to be fed again until close to spring, but make sure your drainage is right, no lawn likes to grow under water!
We know it’s easy to stay rugged up inside during winter, but the garden is a great reason to get out and get some fresh air, even if it may be a little wet or cold!
However, if you’re looking for some help and are considering getting someone else to look after this for you, feel free to give our friendly team a call on (03) 9769 4444.