Luckily for us in South Africa, our winters are relatively temperate, so our plants don’t have to endure extreme temperature drops and harsh climatic conditions. Despite this, your garden will still require a certain level of TLC to end off the season looking healthy and vibrant. Especially if your property has a large lawn and experiences the occasional frosty morning. If you’re wondering how to get the most out of gardening in winter, train yourself to develop these healthy gardening habits (and explore our wide range of plant products online.)
To ensure successful gardening activities during the winter months, you need to maintain your tool kit. Use this time to assess the state of your tools, and make any necessary repairs or replacements. You can inspect your shovels and rakes and clean any remaining dirt off them. Just be sure to only pack them away once dry to prevent rust. You can also wipe down the blades of your secateurs and shears, and sharpen them if necessary. (Discover our garden tool shed essentials.)
Another top priority when gardening in winter is covering your vulnerable plants in the evenings and at night. If you live in an area susceptible to frost, place a protective covering over your shrubs and seedlings between 3:00 PM and 9:00 AM. You should be able to order a horticultural fleece from your nearest garden centre, but if you would prefer using hard containers you can cover your plants with old planters (or new ones from Hadeco). Alternatively, you can give yourself a DIY project and creative little wigwams out of dry grass or hessian sheets – there are so many options! Certain parts of South Africa are prone to harsh, icy winds in winter, so depending on your area, it may be wise to build a barricade or plant some windbreaks as a second measure against frost build up in your garden.
It’s time to put away those sprinklers, ladies and gents. When the cold temperatures of winter hit, there’s no need to water your garden as much as usual. Less heat means less evaporation, so you will find that your garden retains water for longer. We recommend watering your lawn and perennial plants once or twice every couple of weeks – and only in the morning to prevent frost. Remember, during winter, many of your plants will be in a dormant phase. If you regularly use a plant feeder like Pokon Flowering Plant Food when watering your flower beds, be sure to decrease the dosage per litre to about half.
We all want a healthy, flourishing backyard space, regardless of the season. If you plan to do some gardening in winter, try to develop these healthy habits for rewarding outcomes every year. (For quality gardening supplies, visit our online store.)