December’s Winter Garden Jobs
December is greeted into our homes with great joy. Christmas decorations are out, we’ve started, if not finished our Christmas shopping and Slade are playing on the radio.
Outside might not look quite as appealing to you right now, but there’s still work to be done in the garden!
Protect your pots
Many of us will have already protected the majority of our plants from the harsh winter frosts. But have you remembered your pots? Terracotta pots are prone to breaking in the frost, and even some of those that are “frost resistant” can sometimes show cracks after a particularly bad frost. Where you can, group together your pots in a well-sheltered area, and wrap them in some bubble wrap or polythene to help protect them as much as possible. Alternatively, you can bring them indoors, or into the greenhouse to keep the chill at bay.
Cover up your taps
Most houses with a garden also have an outside tap. Some of us leave our hose attached, some of us just have the tap. During the winter, to help protect your tap and pipe it is best to disconnect your hose to help reduce the risk of damage if any residual water freezes. Pop this in the shed or greenhouse where you can. In many garden centers or hardware stores, you can find external tap covers. This will again help to reduce the risk of damage from the frost.
During the summer months, we all love our luscious lawns, so during winter, we need to do what we can to give our lawn the best start to the year. This includes avoiding walking on our lawns while it is frosty. When we walk across the frozen lawn we can cause damage to the grass which will take a while to repair itself. On a nice mild day, either take a garden fork or an aerator and aerate the whole lawn. This will help the lawn to drain should we have a wet winter. If you have trees overhanging your garden, you might still be getting leaves on your lawn. Remove this as soon as you can to avoid any damage to the lawn.
Many of us will have already pruned much of our garden, but just a gentle reminder that this is a great time to prune back any vines, climbing roses and acers. Cut back any dead or dying leaves and flowers to make space for regrowth, with the exception of Hydrangea. The dead flower of a Hydrangea will act as a frost protection to the buds underneath, giving them a great start for spring.
Prepare your soil
Your soil will be taking a beating during the winter months, and if you are looking at planting up as soon as you can, it’s best to keep your soli as healthy as you can.
If you already have bulbs or seeds planted, make sure that you have place holders where they are, this will mean that you can fork over any spaces to give the soil a good airing around them. You can also gently turn over the soil above seeds and bulbs to ensure that they can break through the surface following the wet or frosts.
As always, the winter is a harsh time for our fine feathered friends (and our furry ones too). So where you can, please remember to give them a helping hand and pop some food out. Fat balls are great at this time of year as they can help them build up the nutrients that they require, with less effort, meaning they can store more energy. Anything you can do to help them will make their winter that little easier, so even a few nuts here and there can make a big difference.
Here at Abingdon’s we are still on hand for all of your garden maintenance needs. So if it’s a little cold out there for you, get in touch today, and we’ll be happy to discuss how we can help you, even if it’s just the odd spot of pruning here and there.