Winter has come around once more bringing some rainy days and cold weather. Some parts of the UK have even been layered with snow with probably more to come!
This blog post will help you navigate your garden over the winter months with lots of handy advice on what to plant and how to protect your trees and shrubs.
Stay tuned for a more in-depth guide with all the winter gardening tips you’ll need this season. So here are a couple of tips to keep in mind this December to rid you of your winter blues.
Jobs for the Garden this Winter
Mulch Around Trees and Plants
Winter weather and the harsh conditions it brings, not only affects our trees and plants above ground but also under the soil too.
Protect roots residing underneath the ground by applying a good layer of mulch over the topsoil. Not only does this insulate the roots but it also improves the condition of the soil and helps to conserve moisture.
Planting in winter is great for new gardeners as your tree is sleeping and you can pop it into its new home ready for it to come to life in early spring.
As a general rule of thumb, avoid planting when the ground is waterlogged or frozen and opt for a day that is on the milder side.
Our native tree saplings can be kept in a cool, dry garage over winter and planted in early spring if needed. Otherwise, try planting it into a large pot and placing it in a sheltered location. For more information, have a look at our how to repot a tree video.
When choosing trees for your garden have a look and see which ones are native to your area. These will be the most suitable and hardier to the conditions in your local area.
Wrap / Protect Trees
Water is not always a good thing for trees at this time of year and when it is freezing the water can become a bit of a nuisance! Water freezing on the leaves or bark can cause sunscald when it thaws out. This can damage a tree and make its winter life not very nice. There are a few simple and inexpensive things that you can do to make sure your tree is happy all year round.
- Wrap the head of evergreen trees in clear plastic overnight.
- The Common Big Bag is perfect for deciduous tree protection
- Wrap the bark of young trees. Animals such as rabbits love young trees as a tasty snack.
Protection from Snow and Frost
Snow can be a very tricky adversary and there are a few things you should try and avoid.
- Carefully remove heavy snowfall from branches to avoid breakages.
- Don't use salt-based products to melt snow in the garden, this can be damaging to the tree's roots. Instead try calcium, potassium or magnesium products. They work much better and give a little love to your tree too.
- Move your least cold-hardy trees to a sheltered location and wrap them with horti-fleece if needed.
Next time it’s frosty, go out into your garden and have a look around for really frosty spots. Cold air and frost always cling around the lowest points in the garden, so avoid planting the more tender plants here.
- If you are expecting a really harsh frost it’s a good idea to bundle some bubble wrap around your potted trees. This will help insulate the roots and can provide essential protection for young and developing trees.
- If you choose to place your tree in a pot then a terracotta type pot may be a better choice than one made from metal. They will be more resistant to the effects of the frost.
Pruning during winter
Winter is a good time to prune your trees as they are either blissfully sleeping or not at full growing power. Below are a few little pointers to ensure that your pruning activity is top-notch and will give your gifts the best start to the growing season.
- Winter is an ideal time to look at the structure of your tree and make changes where needed.
- Pruning during dormancy can help with disease control.
- Tending to the garden in winter is a great way to perfect your garden with minimal damage or disruption.
Citrus Tree Care in Winter
One of our most popular gifts here at Tree2mydoor is our collection of citrus trees. But what’s the best way to care for them in the winter?
Citrus trees are not cold hardy and should be kept indoors over winter. Always make sure to put it in a location away from central heating and cold draughts but where it will still get plenty of light. See our quick tips below or go and read our citrus tree winter care blog post.
- Keep citrus trees indoors over winter
- Make sure that citrus trees are kept away from central heating and air conditioning.
- Ensure that citrus trees have a good supply of fresh air.
- Invest in a winter citrus feed to add a little love to your tree’s pot.
- Ensure that the citrus tree has lots of light to grow that special fruit.
Olive & Bay Tree Care in Winter
Olive trees and bay trees are a special kind of tree and they can really make any garden or occasion pop. They are of course a staple of any Mediterranean setting, so require a little TLC during those long winter days. Don't you worry they are very strong but the little tips just help make sure that they get upset during winter.
- Wrapping the head of bays and olives prevents water from freezing on the leaves.
- If you want to wrap the head overnight, the common big bag will be perfectly fine.
- Covering the soil with a bag or cloth will provide a barrier from frozen water and keep the soil from freezing over.
- Move olives and bays to a sheltered spot in the garden.
Other Winter Gardening Jobs
- Avoid walking on the lawn - grass becomes dormant in the winter and can easily be damaged when walked on.
- Dig over your clay beds - this allows frost to break down the soil improving the structure over winter. Avoid digging over if the ground is very wet.
- Place food and water out for hungry hedgehogs - it’s also great to leave an untidy corner of the garden with leaves and logs as a place for hedgehogs to hibernate.
- Put out garden bird feeders - include nuts, seeds and fat balls. (Ensure to clean them regularly.)
- Brush snow off the greenhouse roof - heavy snow can block the light in greenhouses, remove it so plants don’t suffer from low light.
- Sow seeds and bulbs ready for spring - plant on a milder day when the ground isn’t waterlogged or frozen.
Thank you for taking the time to read our winter gardening tips, if you have any questions or ideas just reach out to us over social media and we will be happy to help.