5 essential steps for preparing your winter garden
Is your garden looking a bit neglected? Well, now that you are sitting at home, why not be productive and clean it up? We’ve got a step by step process to help you get through it all. Planting your favourite bulbs in your winter garden will be entertaining and provide you with a beautiful environment. Yes, that means Ranunculus, Tulips – you know, the whole bang shoot. But we’ll save the best for last.
How to get your winter garden in order:
1. For the love of fertiliser: Maintaining your compost heap
Did you start a compost heap in summer? If so, that bad boy should be ready for usage – just in time for your winter garden prep. If you only started one recently, there’s a slightly different maintenance regimen that you’ll need to take on to keep it going over the winter months. The reason for this is that the microbial organisms tend to stop working on the decay process when the temperature drops right down. As you may have learned in our previous blog on how to make a compost heap – heat is what keeps the decay going. So, to keep enough heat, add plenty of fallen leaves, straw, sawdust, and green scraps from the kitchen to your compost heap. The extra padding should insulate it – keeping the microbes active.
2. Take out the trash: Cleaning up your garden space
Take out the trash that is the dead, dying and ill-looking plants that simply won’t bounce back. Or better yet, add them to your compost heap. There’s nothing worse than a garden full of brown leaves and dying flowers. So, dig out the dried-up plants, pull off the shrivelled blooms, and sweep up the stray leaves. Definitely don’t forget about the weeds – dig them up with a trowel and throw them out. They are not suitable for your compost heap as you can run the risk of them resprouting again.
3. Set them straight: Pruning back perennials
The next thing to do for your winter garden preparation is trim back your perennial plants from the summer months so they can resurge again next year. Removing spent flowers and foliage encourages a resurgence of growth. Your summer-blooming plants are more likely to come back for a show next season if they have accumulated enough energy to do so. Make sure you do a thorough job of heading and thinning them with your trusty pair of secateurs. Pinch or cut off the spent flowers, and once the foliage has yellowed, trim the leaves and stems right back. If any of perennial foliage is looking overgrown and bushy, thin out the number of stems by about a third. Too much foliage in a bed can cause plants to compete for light, nutrients, water, and root space, causing some to die off. Make sure your beds are looking evenly spaced and well maintained to ensure optimum growth.
4. Divide and conquer: Separating flower bulbs
Did any of your flower beds look clustered and overgrown with blooms in summer? If so, it’s time to pull up the bulbs and start separating the offshoots. This is a fairly easy process. All you need to do is lift up the mother bulb with one hand, and place your other hand on the offshoot. Then push down firmly, don’t force it. The offshoot should snap right off. If it needs a little more nudging to do so, wedge a trowel between it and the mother bulb until they separate. Then pop the bulbs in a tray and store them in a dark, cool space until the season changes again.
5. Get your hands dirty: Working the soil
With spring coming up in a few months, now is the perfect time to assess soil quality. Scan your eyes around your garden. Do you notice any eroded soil around plants? If so, head over to them with your bag of Pokon Potting Soil in hand, and fill in the cracks and bare sections with some new, fertile soil. Next, see if you can spot any dense or compacted soil around plants or trees that have been growing for quite some time. Then, use a hand cultivator to add some compost and work the soil. Be careful not to disturb any underlying root systems. Lastly, add a layer of nutrient-rich compost to the soil where your perennials are growing, and where you would like to plant winter bulbs. If the perennials have been growing for many seasons, the soil has likely run out of nutrients. Till some compost into the soil to give it the boost it needs before spring rolls around.
Grow your best winter garden yet
If you’ve been making quick work of your winter garden prep list, then good news! All that’s left to do is plant your winter-loving bulbs. You can find them all on our online store. Place your order now for those that are still available, and keep an eye on our social media pages and emailers to find out when you can expect your delivery.