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4 ways to make the most of your garden this winter

by Norwoods Gardener | Nov 11, 2019

As temperatures drop and frost becomes a regular occurrence, the temptation to down tools for the season crosses every gardener’s mind, but gardens need a little TLC throughout all seasons and that definitely shouldn’t change in the run up to winter. With plenty of ways to keep busy over the cooler season, don’t leave your allotment empty or your borders looking neglected with these four winter tasks:

Get growing

cooked veg

Don’t let harder ground and wet weather put you off, winter can be the best time to grow some of your favourite veg! There are some really resilient vegetables that can put up with British winters, and the colder weather can even enhance their flavours.  Brussels sprouts can withstand the harsh winter weather, and are ideal to have at the table this Christmas. Additionally, parsnips, broccoli, cabbage and leeks are resistant to the frost and often produce great crops in winter, with the cold helping to remove any bitterness.

Plant your roots


Planting trees and shrubs is an ideal task to do during the winter months. Remember to check the area you choose to plant in is suitable and ensure you loosen the soil to a depth equivalent to the root length to improve drainage - trees will not grow successfully in an area where soil contains too little air or where soil moisture is either excessive or insufficient. And don’t forget about your other trees - winter is the perfect time for pruning to ensure re-growth the following year.

Our top tip for fruit trees: Apple and pear trees benefit from pruning whilst dormant, once the leaves have fallen and before any new growth (usually between November and early March). Focus on creating an open centre to your tree to encourage more light into the canopy to ripen the shoots and fruit and help improve air movement to discourage diseases.

Clear and repair


Perhaps not as glamorous as other tasks but just as important, cleaning out greenhouses, gutters and water butts are all essential garden maintenance. A clear garden makes it easier to control pests and disease, which is even more important when using an Irrigatia kit - for example, water left standing in water butts can become green with algae and may lead to water borne root rots. To make sure you’re cleaning out your greenhouse sufficiently, follow George’s top tips!

Winter wildlife  


It’s crucial to help your garden wildlife throughout the winter, and you’d be amazed at how much wildlife can actually be help to keep your garden in tip top condition;  birds, toads and hedgehogs act as great pest control and protect your plants by eating slugs and snails. This is also the ideal time of year for ‘no dig’ gardeners to add a surface layer of compost to their beds, which worms will take into the soil whilst aerating, fertilising and enhancing the soils ecosystem as they go.

Give something back by setting up simple feeding stations which can make a huge difference to your winter wildlife. Hedgehogs will appreciate fresh water along with any dog or cat food going spare, whilst birds will benefit from high-fat foods. You can also help the wildlife in your allotment by ignoring a little untidiness and leaving a few fallen leaves or rotting logs aside which animals can shelter in throughout the colder months.