Just like our skin, winter has a drastic effect on our plants. But with a little extra love and care, you can make sure your garden not only survives through the winter, it’ll thrive in spring all the more beautiful.

How can I take care of my garden during winter?

1. Clear it out

Get rid of all the dead foliage. Cut away any dead stems to make sure your plant bed is clear. This will prevent any rotting and also keep insect eggs from growing and spreading.

2.  Mulch the garden

Protect your garden from excessive cold and repeated frosts by creating a mulch to cover the soil. A layer of leaves is a clever way for nature to protect itself against the cold. Collect fallen leaves and leave them to rot, as leaf mould also discourages weeds. Then spread a layer of mulch over the soil around your plants, vegetables and flowers. It will keep the garden bed at a consistent temperature.

 

3. Care for your roses

Plant roses during this time. Mix compost and and soil together during this time when planting. You might want to build a burlap shelter as an added protection for you roses, as well as the mulch, if there is a deep freeze coming. When pruning roses make sure you use sharp and sanitised secateurs. Cut 5mm away from the bud, on a downward angle to prevent water from running into the bud. With some tender loving winter care, your roses will be all the more beautiful come spring and summer! 

 

4. Protect from frosts 

Although New Zealand has a largely temperate climate it can still get frosty. Clear nights make for frosty mornings! Grow tunnels made from jars, old recycled plastic bottles can help to protect vulnerable seedlings establishing themselves. A fast thaw can also damage seedlings so if there is a frost, make sure they are shaded from harsh sunlight they are exposed to. Also, if there is frost damage, don’t prune this away! Pruning only encourages soft new growth which will be attacked again without mercy. 

 

5. Save trees from winter

Protect the softer trunks of young trees with tree protectors. This will help save them from any animals that might try to gnaw them and damage them through winter. Citrus is also less cold-resistant than other common trees we grow here in New Zealand. Ether keep a frost cloth handy for those cold nights. Alternatively, use Liquid Frost Cloth – this non-toxic spray can be applied every 6 weeks to citrus and forms a waxy coat on foliage. 

 

Hopefully, you find these tips helpful, and if your garden needs any help, Service King is always there!