Winter Gardening Tips
Winter gardening tips
There’s plenty of work to keep gardeners busy in winter. Though it’s tempting to turn your back on the outdoors in favour of the duvet and a Netflix binge, putting in some time in the garden will pay off in a more gorgeous landscape come spring. It might even make your backyard more inviting in winter, despite the chill! Here are a couple of Winter gardening tips from the Horticulturists at Secret Gardens.
Winter is the time for garden housework
Just as they say summer bodies are made in winter, putting in the hard yards in your garden over the cooler months will result in a bloomin’ lovely landscape come spring and summer. Winter is the season for pruning. Time to cut back seasonal perennials that are starting to look a bit brown. Trim tree branches that have taken off over the growing season and may now be casting too much shade or threatening to damage the house when thrown about by winter storms. Mulching is also an important job at this time of the year, as the soil can get parched in Sydney, where winters are typically dry.
Don’t wait for September to spring-clean the outdoors. Winter is a great time to pressure-clean the paved areas, which can start to get damp and slimy with winter’s paucity of sunlight. It is also a great time to oil decks and clean out guttering.
Plants you can put in over winter
Though it doesn’t offer the almost-instant gratification of spring planting, winter is still a great time to introduce new plants to your garden. Winter veg, of course, are ready to go in now; swap your herbs and a summer veg for peas, brassicas, like cabbages, kale and broccoli, and root vegetables, like beetroot, carrots and radishes. It’s also a great time to put in fruit trees and any large trees; as these are dormant over the winter. It puts much less stress on trees to transplant them now – plus less stress on you, as you won’t have to go out and water them every day!
Make your garden winter friendly
Though Sydney is spoilt with mild winters, it can still feel a bit too fresh to spend much time outside. This is a good time to take a look at how you can make your garden more inviting, so you can extend your outdoor lifestyle further into the cool months. Heaters are an investment that could pay dividends in dinner parties. Portable gas heaters are easy and effective, while ceramic heaters have to be wired directly into the mains power (so only work for attached verandahs) but give off an incredible amount of heat. Fire pits are a popular inclusion; though they give off limited warmth unless you’re hovering over them, they make up for this in ambience.
Lack of sunlight is one of the major factors driving people indoors over winter. It might be worth considering some deciduous plantings, trees and vines that will offer dappled shade over summer and lose their leaves to let in the light in winter. As an added bonus, some of these deciduous trees, such as cersis, pears and magnolias, bloom early, putting on a spectacular show to mark the end of winter.
Also see Landscaping in Sydney.