7 Tips for Loving and Caring for your Winter Garden
Everyone loves a garden in the summer when you can sit outside sipping on a cold drink underneath a warm, blue sky. But when the weather turns colder and the dark nights draw in, gardens are often neglected.
And there’s a good reason. When you’re more likely to get frostbite than a suntan, it’s understandable why people may want to stay indoors.
But gardens can be just as enjoyable in the winter as they are in the summer. With new wildlife, winter-growing plants, and an abundance of autumnal colours to spice up your outdoor area, there’s plenty to love.
With that in mind, here are seven top tips on how to care for your winter garden.
1. Never Stop Growing
Nothing tastes better than homegrown food. Planting your own vegetables has many benefits, both physical and mental, and just because summer turns into winter, it doesn’t mean you have to stop.
Some crops are tough against the frosty conditions. Broccoli and turnips are two winter favourites, and what’s more festive than growing your own brussel sprouts that you can enjoy (or not in some cases!) with your Christmas dinner.
Why not plant your own tomatoes. No longer thought of as just a summer plant, tomatoes can be grown in the right environment throughout the year.
For something a bit more exotic, why not plant some speedy seeds. With collections such as winter vegetable seeds, spicy and aromatic, and salad favourites, you can always be harvesting or sowing throughout the winter months.
From cauliflower and cabbage to chicory and carrots, some of the healthiest plants are grown just as well in winter as they are in summer. Keep active throughout the colder months by planting seeds and harvesting vegetables that will provide the perfect ingredients for a tasty, warming stew.
2. Cover Your Taps
If you have pipes full of water that are being exposed to sub-freezing temperatures, it’s quite likely they will freeze. When water freezes, it expands, which can be extremely harmful to the pipes storing the water which are known to crack and snap.
Covering your taps is a great way of protecting your pipes, and ensuring no damage is done.
If your pipes do freeze, it can block the flow of water around your home, which will affect things such as central heating and stop interior taps from working.
No one wants to spend winter without a warm house or a nice cup of tea, so always make sure your taps and pipes have all the tools necessary to fight off the winter chill.
3. Keep it Clean
Gardens can be hard to maintain in the winter. With wet weather turning pristine lawns into mudbaths, and leaves constantly being blown around, it is tough to keep up appearances.
But it’s not impossible.
The first thing you need is the right tools. If your garden is covered in leaves, the job of clearing them up will be a lot easier if you have a rake. Whether you use our deluxe garden rake or our adjustable lawn rake, you can quickly gather all debris on your lawn and ensure it always looks its best.
And of course, when you have piles of leaves, always make sure you have some garden sacks to pack them all away. Even handier, our pop up garden waste cart is easy to move and can be dragged with you to make sure all of your garden waste is quickly collected.
Running out of space in your bin? Save yourself a trip to the tip by burning your litter in a garden incinerator. Get rid of your waste in the most efficient manner with this essential item.
And of course, when winter rolls around, not all of your plants will make it. If you do have flowers that can’t survive the cold weather, they may need cutting down. When flowers die, they lose their colour and aren’t great to look at, so cut out the old ones using secateurs and, of course, gardening gloves for protection.
By removing the warmer weather flowers, you can allow the cold-weather friendly species to shine through, such as pansies, clematis, and snowdrops
4. Use a Water Butt
One thing you’re guaranteed in winter is a bit of rain. Installing a water butt is a great way of recycling rainwater, and saves you from using water from inside.
But that’s not the only positive of having a water butt. Rainwater is pure, therefore is the ideal choice for getting some moisture to your plants. As you know there is nothing added to the water you can be sure it won’t contain anything harmful to your flowers.
What is important when choosing a water butt to collect rainwater in the winter, is that it is made from a tough, weather-resistant material that will stop the water inside from freezing. Just like the pipes mentioned above, if the water inside freezes and expands, the plastic may crack, so pick wisely when selecting your butt.
If you are expecting a frost and have a small amount of water in your butt, it can be a good idea to leave the tap open to ensure no damage can be caused by freezing.
If you have a butt, make sure you make the most of it by having plenty of spares, such as a replacement tap, connector kit for filling appliances, and a rain diverter kit to always catch the most water you can.
5. Prepare for Winter Wildlife
One of the best parts about winter is the bright and colourful wildlife that emerges. When food becomes harder to find and locating a warm place to sleep is top on the list of priorities, a well-prepared garden can be a goldmine for birds and many more different animals.
Placing bird boxes on trees is not just a great way to draw in wildlife, but you’re also providing a warm place for a bird to get some rest.
Some of the beautiful birds you may see in the winter are blue tits, goldfinches, chaffinches and who can forget the always festive red-breasted robin. Make sure you’re always drawing them in to get a good sighting by offering plenty of bird feed, fat balls, and mealworms.
Leaving a compost heap is also a great way of providing a home for plenty of wildlife. Loved by frogs and toads, and also often enjoyed by hedgehogs looking for somewhere warm to hibernate, leaving something like this can provide the perfect habitat for some wonderful winter wildlife.
Winter brings with it many animals that you won’t get a chance to see in the warmer months, so make your garden a perfect home and catch a glimpse of these elusive animals this year.
6. Light it Up
When daylight hours are dwindling, it’s important you have a way of getting out in your garden, no matter the time of day. By lighting up your garden, you aren’t just making it more visible, you are also adding a cosy feel for the nights you may want to enjoy a breath of fresh air.
By using lights that are wire-free, you can place them wherever you want. Whether you would like to light up the whole garden, or simply spread some ambience on your seating area, these lights are the perfect way to bring a glimmer to your winter garden.
For something even better, why not get warm as well with our fire basket. Simply fill with burning logs and enjoy as the flames light up your garden. Now all you need is a few chairs to go around it, and you have yourself a cosy night.
It can be easy to not want to spend time outside in winter, but with some stunning lights and a blazing fire, there’s nowhere better to be.
7. Have Fun
The weather outside may be frightful, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still enjoy caring for your garden. Find the positives in the damp soil, and grab your spade or digging fork and get to work on the earth, making sure as soon as spring appears and the weather gets warmer, your garden is in the perfect condition to grow.
Winter brings with it many beauties, such as snowfalls and glorious red sunsets. And that’s why my final tip on caring for and loving your winter garden is to enjoy it.
Let some bangers off on bonfire night, and get festive on Christmas. Embrace the autumn colours and breathe in the refreshing morning air all in the comfort of your tidy and beautiful winter garden.
A well-maintained garden is a happy garden. Come rain or shine, your garden always needs a bit of TLC, but never more so than in winter.
Wet and cold weather makes it tempting to stay indoors, but there are plenty of reasons to get outside. From welcoming birds and enjoying the light of a fire, to growing vegetables and preparing for Spring, there’s plenty to keep you occupied in the winter months.
So get out in your winter garden today. And if you need some tools to help you along your way, Yorkshire Trading Company has you covered.
Check out our winter garden collection here.