OUTDOOR ARTICLES

FIVE WAYS TO PREPARE YOUR GARDEN FOR WINTER

1 It’s a great idea to install a rainwater tank during winter so you can store this precious water for use in the future.

2 Less watering is needed in the colder months as the garden is dormant, but when you do water, make sure you use warm tap water so the roots won’t go into shock. And remember to feed all your plants regularly so they’re strong enough to withstand winter.

3 Layering mulch over soil is great for locking in moisture, but remember to remove some of it during winter so the sun can penetrate the soil and warm it up.

FIVE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR GARDEN THRIVE...

1 Mulch, mulch, mulch! You’d be surprised what a little mulch will do. It not only holds the moisture in, it also regulates the soil temperature and encourages micro-organisms and worms. This improves the soil structure and in turn promotes good root development.

2 Fertilising. Most people tend to throw fertiliser around once or twice a year then forget about it, but to get the best results it’s better to use it a little more often. Small amounts of fertiliser every eight weeks will keep the new growth and flowers thriving throughout the year.

FIVE CARE TIPS FOR YOUR WINTER VEGETABLE GARDEN

1 Keep an eye out for pests like the white cabbage butterfly, as well as their larvae and caterpillars – companion planting with sage or mint deters them.

2 Ensure you don’t overwater and that your patch has good drainage. Try to coordinate watering with weather conditions as much less is needed during winter.

3 Don’t over-fertilise – during the colder months there is no need for fertilising as your soil would have been enriched in autumn when you planted.

Five tips to create the perfect compost heap.

1. Compost heaps need heat to help everything break down, so pick a warm sunny spot – but make sure it’s not too hot. A position under a deciduous tree is ideal as it will offer sunshine over winter and shade from the heat in summer.

2 Turn the compost regularly, as this will help blend all the ingredients and break it down faster. Add a little cow manure also, to speed up the process.