Winter Garden Checklist
As daylight hours drop and the temperature falls, activity in the garden increasingly involves cosying up inside and dreaming about New Year plans. There are, however, plants to enjoy outside on winter walks, some core gardening activities, plus vegetables to harvest for warming soups and casseroles.
To help your gardening efforts, we have created a winter checklist with activities to do this season and helpful advice from Hillier experts. Read, download and bookmark or print the checklist below.
Your Winter Garden Checklist
- The winter garden can bring beautiful flower, foliage and scent. Some shrubs including Sarcococca and Viburnum x bodnantense ‘Dawn’ have beautiful aromas. Position near a path or doorway to bring a delightful fragrance and instant impact into your winter garden
- Trees can be planted all through winter, including fruit trees, so long as the ground isn’t frozen
- Prune your wisteria, cutting back any new shoots from the summer to two or three buds
- Prune apple and pear trees
- Deadhead winter bedding, such as pansies and violas to encourage prolonged flowering
- Towards the end of the season, prune winter-flowering shrubs that have finished flowering - like winter-flowering Jasmine
- In late February, prune summer-flowering clematis varieties
- Get set for frosts. If you have lifted and stored plants in your greenhouse, check that the greenhouse heaters are working. A number of plants, including tree ferns, cordyline and olives really need extra protection in very cold weather; have horticultural fleece on standby. It is not advisable to leave horticultural fleece on all winter
- Make sure any pots are stood on pot feet to protect them from frost damage and to stop the roots becoming waterlogged. Plants in pots are more susceptible to cold weather and may need fleecing even if they wouldn’t ordinarily when growing in the ground
- Wrap grease bands around fruit trees to prevent overwintering winter moth
- A number of delicious vegetables should be ready to harvest in the winter months, including leeks, parsnips, kale, rocket and not forgetting the Brussels sprouts for your Christmas dinner!
- Some vegetables can be planted outdoors in February under a cloche – such as beetroot, chicory, radishes, spinach, lettuce and early turnip varieties
- Start chitting seed potatoes in February
- Continue to clear patches of fallen leaves across your lawn and borders. Raking up leaves is good for your lawn health. But, in your flower beds, a balance needs to be struck between plants and animal welfare. Raking up leaves is good for plant health, but is not so good for overwintering insects and birds like thrushes and blackbirds
- Leave your grass to grow longer in winter to reduce moss build up. In the event of frosts or snow, avoid trampling on your lawn too much (although the possibility of building a small snowman is irresistible!)
- February is the ideal month to prepare your beds for spring sowing. Clear weeds and stones, dig over and incorporate plenty of compost or well-rotted manure. Clean cloches and set in place so they can warm the soil.