Four common winter gardening mistakes to avoid for a bountiful spring garden

With the cold weather fast approaching and storm season continuing in the UK, many people may have forgotten about maintaining their gardens.

Helen Nyul, group head of biodiversity at Barratt Developments has shared four common winter gardening mistakes people need to avoid.

She said: “Winter is a key time of year for maintaining your garden.

“Taking care of your space during this season allows for plants, wildlife and furniture to endure the colder months, and sets the stage for a bountiful spring garden.  

“The effort you invest now will be well rewarded in the spring. It doesn’t have to be completed in one day. Even the smallest of tasks yield significant benefits for both you and your outdoor sanctuary.” 

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This Morning: Daisy talks about winter gardening tasks

Four tasks to remember to do this winter:

1. Keep your garden tidy 

Gardeners need to prioritise cleaning their outdoor spaces in preparation for winter. Keeping on top of weeding during winter is also easier as the soil is loosened by the rain.

Using a hoe helps to dig weeds out at the source and reduces the need for herbicides.

Gardeners can also jet wash their patios in the winter months to prevent the spread of dirt that can occur during the colder months due to harsh weather.

Fallen leaves can be collected and composted. They eventually break down and rot to create fertiliser for the next growing season. Leaf mulch is a great fertiliser that can help plants grow.

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2. Mow the lawn 

There has been a 5,000 percent increase in searches for “lawn mower blade sharpening near me” and “garden weed brush lawn mower”, according to UK Google search data over the last 30 days.

Long grass can be almost impossible to cut in the winter months so before temperatures drop, mow the lawn before it gets too long and frost arrives.

Mowing during winter is important to keep lawns in shape, especially if you leave it longer during the summer months.

Gardeners can also maintain their petrol lawnmowers in the winter. It is important to drain their oil, replace their filter, and keep them clean and empty of any cuttings.

3. Storing furniture and tools 

Leaving garden furniture out in the cold weather unprotected can cause permanent damage and furniture to age faster with stains and discolouration.

If the weather is extreme, garden furniture may also blow over which could prove costly if it needs replacing.

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Store furniture in a place where it is safe from exposure to harsh weather to preserve its quality. If this isn’t an option, you could cover it with a secure, weather-proof cover instead.

Gardening tools can also become damaged during the winter months if they’re left outdoors. Try storing them correctly in a dry and sheltered place, such as in a shed, garage, or storage box to ensure they’re in good condition when spring comes around.

4. Over-wintering plants

Certain delicate plants such as dahlias and pelargoniums, need to be protected from harsh weather conditions, such as frost and snow.

Gardeners can do this by adding plant covers or lifting them and bringing them indoors. Some of the best places to keep them are in conservatories, greenhouses or even in cold frames.

If this isn’t an option, gardeners can make a DIY cold frame using old windows and off-cuts of wood found online or in skips.

Trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials can be left outside but they need to be cut back and a thick layer of mulch added to give them protection.

Pruning plants in winter when they’re dormant will also help to promote vigorous growth during the next growing season as well as extend their life.

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