Getting the Garden Ready for Winter
Fall is in the air. Moreover, that means it’s time to clean up your summer garden and prepare it for winter. While the days are getting shorter and the air is a bit crisper, you can still work the soil, creating beautiful landscapes as well as nurturing winter vegetables and herbs.
Keeping Your Gardens Tidy over Winter
As the summer melts into winter, your flower and vegetable beds will start to look tired. Your gardens can get that tidy look back when you
- Pull weeds
- Dig up and compost summer plants
- Plant annuals
- Prune back trees and shrubs
When you’re done restoring your winter garden, you want to add a fresh application of mulch. Mulch has many benefits:
- It keeps moisture in the soil
- It protects plant roots from extreme cold and heat
- It keeps weeds at bay
- It moderates the soil temperature
- It provides nutrients as it continues to decay
- It gives your gardens a tidy appearance.
Are you planning on adding hedges to your property this winter? Check out this blog 'How to plant a hedge for privacy'.
Getting Ready for Winter Gardening With These Plants
This fall, the first place you want to be is your vegetable garden. It’s time to harvest the remaining summer bounty, cook or preserve it for eating over the wintertime. For example, if you’re having a plentiful tomato harvest, you can add breading and fry up green tomatoes.
You can also oven-roast tomatoes or make them into spaghetti sauce or stewed tomatoes. Your homemade spaghetti sauce and stewed tomatoes freeze well for you to use throughout the winter.
If you live in a temperate zone, the following vegetables will grow well in your garden:
- Brussels sprouts
- Spring onions
For those of you who live in Northern New Zealand with its sub-tropical or tropical winters, you can plant the following vegetables:
Of course, there are herbs to add to your garden to make your winter vegetables taste delicious. Here are 10 must-have herbs to add to your vegetable patch:
Beautiful Flowers to Grace Your Gardens
Flowers give pops of colour and create a palette that brightens your landscapes and lifts you out of the winter doldrums. When you plant flower seeds in the warm soil in early autumn, you’re encouraging those seedlings to develop deep roots. During dry spells, your garden plants’ deep roots help keep the plants alive by finding new moisture stores in the soil.
If you prefer not to deal with seeds, you can visit your local garden centre and buy established seedlings that you only need to transplant into containers or your flower beds.
The following flowers make lovely plants for your winter garden:
- Pansies: These flowering plants have beautiful blossoms that come in a wide variety of colours, such as whites, yellows, pinks, purples and black. Here’s an easy gardening trick: When your pansies start to look leggy, trim them back and give them some liquid fertiliser. Your pansies will bounce back in a few weeks with more blooms.
- Polyanthus: Bold, bright colours will cheer up any winter garden. Polyanthus belongs to the primrose family.
- Lobelia: These flowers have the corner market on the blues. Lobelia produces sprays of blues, whites, pinks and light purples. Great for garden borders and hanging baskets.
- Alyssum: This is a hardy flowering plant. Alyssum looks exceptional in between sidewalk cracks, nestled in with spring flowering bulbs and as a border plant. It keeps reseeding itself throughout the winter. Alyssum comes in white, pink, cream, purples, apricot and a whole host of other colours. They also perfume the air with their gentle, baby powder scent.
- Fairy primrose: Another primrose variety that does well during New Zealand winter months. The fairy primrose grows larger than polyanthus. These primroses look great in a flower bed and containers.
- Forget-me-nots: Lovely white, blue or pink blossoms cheer up your flowerbeds. These little flowers look great as a border plant. Forget-me-nots will reseed themselves. You’ll want to pull out spent plants from your gardens before they start looking tatty.
Violas: These blossoms are cousins to pansies. They’re more like perennials since they keep popping up throughout the winter and early spring. Violas look excellent in borders or containers.
There’s something therapeutic about working in a winter garden—whether it’s vegetables or flowers. New Zealand’s climate makes gardening throughout the year enjoyable. Use these final fall months to get your vegetable and flower gardens in order. Then sit back to enjoy the blossoms and delicate scents that waft throughout your beds and borders.
If you do require any help in the garden before winter makes its full appearance, the Crewcut team would be more than happy to help! Just contact us on 0800 800 286 or leave us a message in our chat below.