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Winter Chores

Winter is the ideal time for carrying out much-needed maintenance in the garden, assessing where any gaps might be in your planting scheme, examining the ‘bones’ of your winter garden to see where you can make improvements and, just before it starts to warm, pruning and cutting back grasses and flowering shrubs that might require some pruning.

Below is a general list with which to start in June. Naturally, depending on your specific climate, some tasks might be impossible now, others might not be applicable while still others might need to be held over until late July-early August. You be the judge.

My suggestion to you is take those tasks that are applicable to your garden and diarise them in a gardening journal so that you will be reminded of what to do each year. If something is not applicable to you, just ignore it.


June & early-July

  • Leaves are falling now so you need to pay attention to all the gutters on your buildings. Clean them out and add all the gunge that comes out of the gutters to your compost heap;

  • If you have hydrangeas in your garden, prune the stems that flowered recently and use them to make cuttings. Feed them lightly with any suitable hydrangea food or use 3.1.5 and mulch the area around each shrub;

  • Water your winter vegetables well at least four times a week and feed them with Talborne’s organic 6.3.4 which is perfect for vegetable gardens;

  • Frost is a big consideration if you live in a frost-prone area. Efekto’s Plant Protection Cover will help protect frost-sensitive plants;

  • Annuals : deadhead all your annuals regularly to encourage repeat flowering. Feed them with a light dressing of 3.1.5 or a foliar feed of your choice. Stick to the recommended dosage as there is no benefit to overdoing it;

  • Harvest any fruit that is ripening on your trees now and, if you have an abundant crop, experiment with making jam, bottling or gift some produce to a friend or needy person. Rotting fruit can be added to your compost heap;

  • Camellia sasanqua is nearing the end of its flowering time, while Camellia japonica is about to start flowering. Water each shrub well once a week to ensure that the blooms remain on the plant for longer;

  • It’s not quite time to prune your roses so enjoy whatever blooms you still have on your bushes and keep an eye out for any bugs. Rosecare or Neem Oil can be used to control any infestations.

  • Unless your lawn is completely dormant, give it a light cut every three weeks or so. You will be surprised at how it maintains the strength of the turf and how quickly it responds to the warmer weather at the end of winter.

“No garden is complete without birds, butterflies, pollinators, small reptiles & mammals, as well as amphibians to create a balance in nature. By providing a habitat in even the smallest of spaces with loads of organic matter that breaks down and provides food from the lowest to the highest on the food chain, you are fulfilling a critical role in the environment. Your reward will be the birdsong, butterflies and bumblebees, small mammals and lizards to delight you on a daily basis. (Dare I say too ‘the croaking, tweeting or clicking of frogs.) ”

Recommendation : The Premier Garden Design & Maintenance, Essential Steps to Designing and Essential Steps to Maintaining your Garden will give you all the information you need about attracting beneficial wildlife to your garden as well as the most important aspects of caring for your garden year-round.

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