Keep busy in the garden this winter

Top tips for gardeners

It may be cold outside and the ground might be rock hard but winter can still be a busy time for gardeners.

Carol Head is the Head Groundsperson at Benenden Hospital, looking after 364 acres. She has some top tips for gardeners who want to keep active during the cold months, avoid Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and to make sure they are best prepared for the spring.

  • Winter is a great time to clean all of your tools. Oil and service all of your machinery and sharpen blades, so that everything is ready for use in the spring.
  • If you have a greenhouse and cold frames, pots and trays disinfect them to kill off bugs. Red spiders will cause you havoc if left.
  • Keep on top of leaves and debris. Clear it all away as there could be insects underneath which will destroy your plants. Compost leaves if possible.
  • Protect plants during the winter by getting a light amount of compost and making a mound to give some protection.
  • Prune shrubs and roses. Roses could be cut down by a third to stop them rocking in the wind and getting damaged.
  • Dig your garden over. If it’s been a dry winter and you have heavy soil dig the garden over and the frost will break the soil down.
  • During January and February put in your Sweat Peas and broad beans.

And one final piece of advice from Carol: “Winter is the time to sit in front of a nice warm fire and read some great gardening books. Look at seed catalogues, get some good ideas online and design your garden so that you’re ready for Spring sowing"

Published on 02 December 2016