Miserable weather is no excuse for abandoning the garden. As I once heard Billy Connolly say “there’s no such thing as bad weather – just the wrong clothes”. I’m not sure I totally agree with Billy, which is why my list of winter gardening jobs includes some things that can be done indoors.
Clean patios, decks and paths
Why am I writing about this? Well, it’s because this is exactly the job I was doing last weekend. My patio was covered with slippery green slime that looked horrid and was just waiting to cause an accident. So it was out with the pressure washer (with patio attachment) and on with the wet weather gear to get it cleaned off.
It took a while and I was freezing cold by the time I’d done. But my goodness what a difference! It looks much brighter and feels much safer underfoot.
Hopefully I’ll not need to repeat the exercise for a while. Instead I’ll be free to concentrate on lawncare and gardening when spring finally arrives.
Mulch around shrubs and perennials
This is another job I didn’t get around to last autumn. Mulching can be done at any time of year. Simply pull out any weeds – which is relatively easy at this time of year – and then apply a 5-8cm layer of woodchip mulch to the bare soil. There’ll be less weeding to do next year and the whole garden will look a bit more loved.
Service the lawnmower
If you want your lawn to look as good as it could this summer, servicing the lawnmower is the single most important job you can do. Make sure the blades are really sharp and that the engine runs smoothly. I’m no engineer so I can’t give you any advice. My own mower is in the workshop at the local garden centre right now. I wish I could save money and do the work myself – but I have to admit defeat and ask for help.
Book a landscaper for any major refurbishment work
Speaking of asking for help. If you’re planning any major works in your garden this year, winter is the best time to start looking for a landscaper. Meet and speak to at least 3 reputable landscapers, discuss your ideas and get some estimates for costs. Then make sure your chosen landscaper knows when you’d like to start work. The earlier you book a landscaping professional the better. These guys get really busy in spring and summer and you may not be able to find help when you need it.
Measure up for new a new lawn
If your lawn is too mossy, weedy or bald to refurbish it’s probably easiest to rip it up and start again. It only takes a few minutes on a winters day to measure the lawn so that you can calculate how much turf or grass seed to order.
If you’re struggling with your calculations, please don’t hesitate to ring Eleanor or Dave in the Stewarts Turf office. They’re more than happy to help you work out quantities and give you a quote for materials.
Trim lawn edges
Another quick job for a bright day. Trimming the edges of your lawn will make it look sharper and more manicured. In fact it will make the whole garden look better. Avoid walking on frosted grass though.
Other winter gardening jobs
My to-do list is quite a lot longer than it ought to be. Apart from mulching beds and light weeding, I also need to
- Prune trees and shrubs
- Apply the second dose of autumn/winter lawn feed
- Order veggie seeds for spring sowing
- Dig over the raised beds
- Move strawberry plants into the polytunnel for forcing
- Keep topping up the bird feeder
- Get a quote for some fencing
- Tidy up the greenhouse
I think I’d better pull my finger out!
Still on the subject of winter gardening jobs…..