‘Care for your lawn’: Gardening expert shares tasks for the winter – top tips

‘Care for your lawn’: Gardening expert shares tasks for the winter – top tips


Gardening tips: How to repair and maintain your lawn

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The growth of grass and plants slows down significantly in winter due to the temperature dropping, meaning there is less work to do. However, preparing for the next season is important and one expert has shared how to prepare the garden for winter as well as making sure it thrives this year.

Kate Turner, gardening expert at Miracle-Gro has shared what gardeners should be doing throughout January and the rest of the winter months.

For those who have a lawn, Kate stressed the importance of keeping it intact during winter.

She said: “Keep off the lawn as much as possible, especially in frost and waterlogged conditions. 

“If you can, it might be an idea to put in stepping-stones for areas that are frequently walked upon.”

When the weather is cold, the grass isn’t actively growing, so they won’t repair themselves until spring if they get damaged.

January is not the best time to put grass feed down as the weather is too cold.

The expert recommends leaving the lawn to rest over winter.

Kate said: “Don’t put down any feed or treatment in the winter as this won’t work and may cause harm during frosty spells. 

“Remember, however bad your lawn looks over winter it will always recover once spring starts and new growth appears.”

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Vulnerable plants should be protected especially during winter when there’s frost.

Kate explained the best way to protect vulnerable plants when the frost starts to kick in.

She said: “An easy thing to do when the frost starts setting in is to bring any vulnerable plants under cover, so that they are safe from the icy temperatures. 

“If you are unable to bring your plants indoors, the best way to protect them is in a heated greenhouse or using a horticultural fleece to wrap around more tender plants.”

Shrubs need shelter from the rough winter winds.

Kate said: “We recommend removing the top third of shrubs such as buddleja, roses and lavateras that are in windy spots. This will prevent wind rock that can cause root damage and rot to set in. 

“However, don’t cut back all your herbaceous perennials till February. Not only will they provide protection for wildlife, but they will provide protection for themselves.”

Whilst the cold of winter can have a damaging effect on plants, winter wet can often be the real danger, especially waterlogging followed by frosts. 

Kate recommends lifting containers off the ground using bricks, slate, or special plant feet to stop any waterlogging.

She said: “Lift the pots up on pot feet or bricks as it’s often the winter wet that will kill plants, such as lavenders (especially French varieties) rather than the cold. You can also wrap containers in fleece for extra insurance.

“Some keen gardeners lift their dahlia tubers and store them in soil in a cool dark place, but mostly you can cover them in the garden with a thick layer of mulch.

“It is a nice idea to give citrus plants a summer holiday so don’t forget to bring them in from the outdoors. Exotic plants such as cannas and bananas need protection so bring them inside if you can or cover bananas with straw and wrap in hessian.

“If you are bringing plants into the house, always check thoroughly for any beasties and quarantine them for a few weeks to make sure you won’t find any unwanted creepy crawlies in your carpets.”

Winter is a perfect time to plant some vegetables.

Kate suggested that a greenhouse can prove to be a great benefit of getting ahead of gardening jobs.

She said: “A cold greenhouse can be useful if you want to get ahead and start sowing winter salad plants, such as sweet peas and broad beans for an earlier crop.”

A greenhouse is great for gardening enthusiasts as it allows plants to be grown all year round regardless of the season and weather.

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