You don’t want to be caught out at the last minute when it comes to planning your winter garden. The coldest months of the year are also the most barren when it comes to the natural world, so if you want to avoid your garden looking like a plant and shrub graveyard, it’s time to start thinking about how you’re going to ensure your yard keeps up with the season. It’s a common misconception that gardens during the winter have to look drab and dull compared with their summer counterparts. This is simply not true. By selecting the correct plants to put in your garden during December, January and February, you can add a splash of colour and more to help brighten up those cold wintry days.
So what can you do to help your winter garden survive the cold?
You can start by planting plants in the correct areas. Some garden plants need sun so will have to be placed in the areas that get what little winter sunlight there is. On top of that, it’s a good idea to prepare the soil so that drainage is at its optimum level. Good drainage is necessary in a winter garden as if temperatures drop too low, the ground can freeze and ice water will really damage delicate roots and even kill your plants.
Of course, much of having a thriving winter garden is all down to plant selection. Not every plant comes equipped for coping with each season, which is why it’s important to carefully select which types to use. Some plants that survive well in cooler temperatures include pansies, stock, calendula and nemesia all do well, and good winter vegetables include cabbage, radish, broccoli, rocket and peas.
When it comes to planting, give each plant more space than you would for a summer bloom in order to provide better air circulation. This will help decrease the likelihood of fungus or mildew problems appearing and spreading through your plants. It’s also a good idea to get some compost at the beginning so your new plants get a good start with nutrient-rich soil to help them find their feet in the ground.