Keeping your garden maintained is a year round job that never stops. On Wonderland Gardens we have provided tips on how to care for your lawn during the winter months. In this article we look at five more points you should undertake and watch out for in order to keep your garden healthy and maintained in the coming months.
While most gardeners have a garden shed, you would be surprised at how little know how to properly use one. If you were to look inside most sheds you would probably find that they have been reduced to a tipping site of tools, pots, and bits of equipment that should have been disposed of a long time ago. Keeping the shed organised is vital, as a disordered shed will likely put you off maintaining the garden properly.
If your shed is untidy the first task is to clear the entire interior out and throw away every broken pot and shovel with a handle missing. Installing a couple of shelves is a good way to keep the shed organised and the small equipment off the floor.
Live Naturally Magazine advise putting some hooks into the wall to allow garden tools to hang freely. A magnetic strip is also ideal for small tools such as paintbrushes, clippers, and screwdrivers. Not only will this keep the shed more orderly it will also mean that everything is easy to hand.
Keeping the Garden Watered in the Winter
There is a lot more to watering the garden than turning on the garden hose and giving the garden a quick spray. How and when you water can have a huge effect on how your plants will grow. For example, watering from a distance will only cover the leaves of the plant which is far less effective than watering the root of the plants.
The sun will simply evaporate the water on the leaves. To make sure that the water is absorbed into the soil you should water the root of the plant. This may require a bit of extra effort, but it will save on water and keep the soil around the plant nourished.
When you water your plants is also vital. Although the cold and wet winter months may seem like a good time to lay off watering it is important to be aware that the plants are dormant not dead. In the summer it is best to water early to ensure the water doesn’t evaporate. In the winter the same is true but for the opposite reason.
You need to water early to ensure the water doesn’t freeze before it can be absorbed. Gardening Know How recommends watering the plants deeply a few times a month during the colder months. The website suggested as a rule of thumb: “water when the soil is dry to the touch, the temperature is not below 40 F. (4 C.), and, if possible, when the wind isn’t blowing.”
Repairing and Painting Garden Fences
In the list of garden chores to be completed, maintaining the garden fence probably comes low on most people’s list. Like every part of the garden, the fence needs to be taken care of. This should be ideally done every year due to the different weather conditions that will batter the fence over the year, particularly during the winter. Protecting the fence from harsher weather conditions is very simple and can be done with a coat of fence paint.
For instance, Screwfix in their list of fence paints, detail several key features that include all-weather protection that can stand up to rain, frost, and snow which will ensure the fence has an added layer of protection. Applying a coating of fence paint every year is one of the most effective ways to maintain your garden fence.
A fence can get damaged in a number of ways and if you don’t address the damage it could possibly lead to the entire fence needing to be replaced. One of the main advantages of wooden fences is that if one piece is damaged, or needs to be replaced, you should only need to remove that section/panel. If your fence is getting constantly damaged it may be wise to invest in a sturdier structure.
Soil Management and Crop Rotation
If you want to give your plants the best chance of growing and flourishing, paying close attention to the soil is vital. This is especially true of vegetable gardens where the quality of the soil is key and Michigan State University revealed that a healthy vegetable garden needs a soil plan.
They believe that the best way to keep the soil healthy is to invest in a good fertiliser that will in the short term improve root systems and reduce the likelihood of disease and pests, and in long term lead to better soil porosity and improve its water-holding capacity.
Crop rotation is very important to maintaining soil and plant health. The Richmond Vale Academy discussed that several problems can occur if a gardener doesn’t rotate crops every year.
These include the soil becoming less fertile due to the same plant draining the same nutrients from the soil, encouraging pests to get used to certain areas of the garden, and increasing the risk of erosion. While many homeowners may think that these only apply to farms they should be aware that this is just as true for their own gardens, no matter the size.
The joy of any garden is growing plants and vegetables, and while your garden is going to be bare during the winter months it is the perfect time to start preparing for the spring. The best time to plant bulbs is from September to October before the hard frosts can freeze the ground.
Bulbs need time to settle in the soil and if you plant them too late they won’t grow due to the frozen soil. Planting them too early however could lead to diseases.
If you miss the optimal time you shouldn’t try to wait until the next year as bulbs die if they are out of the ground too long (unlike seeds). If you miss the window, plant them in a pot that is stored in a cold place to give them a good chance of growing. Bulbs have been known to grow in the strangest of conditions.