Britain is a nation of garden lovers but for many it is too cool to garden in the winter. Or is it?
In fact latest research confirms that only 2% of us tackle our gardens in the winter months, with 39% reporting that the lack of warm weather is what deters us from donning our garden gloves.
Despite popular belief, winter is the perfect time to be sprucing up your garden, according to TV plantsman and horticulturalist Michael Perry (also known as Mr Plant Geek.)
Michael comments: “You know what it’s like. You intend to get on top of your garden in the summer, but you really just want to sunbathe! Most people don’t realise how much gardening you can get done in the quieter winter months. Gardening in the cooler season has many benefits, for the plants and for you.”
Top 5 Gardening Jobs We Put Off During Winter:
- Ordering seeds for Spring
- Pruning fruit trees
- Digging garden beds
- Creating a compost heap
- Covering the ground
So, although 80% of adults don’t plants bulbs in the winter, they might reap the rewards if they did and while 30% of people spruced up their garden in the spring, only 24% actually protect their plants from the cold in winter. With only a fifth of Brits improving their gardens more than once a year, it might be time to consider a gardening strategy for all seasons.
This is why waste removal expert HIPPO has teamed up with Michael to help Brits get their gardens ship shape this winter; before al fresco dining and the outdoor entertaining season rolls back around.
Michael’s Top 10 Winter Gardening Tips:
- The winter is the perfect time to add plants to your garden, particularly in bare root form – when they’re dormant. You can buy a wide range of bare root fruit trees and perennials, which establish much more easily than potted plants do in the warmer months.
- Don’t neglect your winter containers – you can use a range of colourful plants, such as hellebores, primroses and pansies, to add as much colour to your front garden or patio as you would in the height of the summer.
- Before it gets too cold, mulch your plants with fresh compost, leaf mould or bark – this will keep the moisture locked in and start to nourish the soil. Plus, in the warmer months, it will also prevent any weeds from coming through!
- It’s always a good idea to leave the seed heads on your plants through the autumn – as they have a great architecture and provide homes to insects. However, if they start to break down, it’s best to clear them from the surface of the soil, as they could spread bacteria.
- You might find that the quieter days in winter are the perfect time to clean up your garden – by pressure-washing surfaces and clearing areas that you haven’t got around to.
- It’s a good time to do a big garden tidy up, prune dormant shrubs and clear away dead seeds or plants.
- Any waterlogged lawns can be aerated by using the tines of a fork – try to avoid walking on the lawn too often during the winter as it needs its rest – just like us!
- If you do want to add some instant colour to your borders this winter – then reach for evergreen shrubs. There are so many available in all sorts of different colours and shades.
- Take time to do some forward planning – use the quieter, winter months to take time planning your perfect summer garden. Order bulbs, seeds and young plants and plan your borders ahead of time, making them fuller and longer lasting.
- Make sure your garden is wildlife friendly – as they’ll need you most during the winter months! Top up your bird baths and leave out a full supply of tasty foods like fat balls and mealworms.
Gareth Lloyd-Jones, MD of HIPPO, comments: “As we head towards the winter months and the days get shorter and colder, gardening is often the last thing on our minds. Our research has uncovered that the UK shies away from tending to our beloved flowers and plants in the winter months, but we’re clearly missing a trick.”
“It’s been fantastic to team up with Mr Plant Geek to help inspire the British public to continue their green fingered efforts all year round with tangible hints and tips. With the right knowledge and tools to help make winter gardening convenient and stress-free, we can all use the quieter months ahead to curate a perfect garden space to enjoy in warmer seasons.”