With the cold weather settling in, it can be easy to forget about the garden. Putting in the effort in Winter will go a long to ensuring a beautiful garden come Spring.
Here, Melissa King, horticulturalist and Northcote Pottery Brand Ambassador, shares her top tips for enhancing your garden this Winter.
Perfect time for pruning
Most fruit trees will benefit from a good prune when they are dormant in Winter, to improve the quality and amount of fruit and create a strong framework of branches. There are two essential tools for the job – a Cyclone Compact Bypass Pruner, with non-stick coated cutting blades for lasting sharpness and a Cyclone Ratchet Bypass Lopper, which provides additional cutting force so you can tackle bigger branches with ease.
Late Winter is also the perfect time to prune roses. For modern bush roses, start by raking up any fallen or diseased leaves from the base of your plant to reduce the chance of pests and disease spreading. Then, cut off about half of the growth in a rounded shape and remove any spindly, old or dead wood.
Rake away to enrich garden beds
There are still plenty of Autumn leaves hanging about, so rake them up quickly and efficiently with the new Cyclone Extra Wide Leaf Rake. It collects 45% more leaves per sweep and it’s 31% wider and 9% taller compared to the Cyclone Super Rake. Now that’s saying something! Be sure to add the leaves to the compost heap to help enrich garden beds coming into Spring.
Transplant and hydrate plants
Winter is an ideal time to move plants. Prepare the new area for planting with plenty of compost and organic matter. Water plants well before you transplant them and use a tough Cyclone Digging and Shifting Shovel to dig up as much of the root ball as possible. You might want to wrap it in plastic or hessian to reduce further damage to the roots in transit.
Once plants are in their new spot, keep them hydrated and give them a good dose of seaweed-based plant topic to encourage strong, healthy root growth and reduce transplant shock. A great way to know just how much water your plants need is to get your hands on a Nylex Digital Rain Gauge. It measures total rainfall in selected timeframes and transmits data wirelessly up to 100m from the display, so you’ll always know when it’s time to get out the hose
Give your garden a colour makeover
Pansies, Violas, Cinerarias or Polyanthus will add vibrant Winter colour. Make this season’s hottest annuals shine in Nylex Self Watering Planters, which feature a water spout that allows water to travel directly into the reservoir and a built-in sight glass and fill level indicator to see water levels at any time.
Eliminate pests with a bug hotel
Beneficial bugs can help to clean up pesky garden pests and pollinate our plants, so why not invite them to stay in their own des-res. To get the job done you’ll need a Trojan 550mm Handsaw, Trojan Claw Hammer, drill, some Masonite backing, a few nails, screws and a Trojan Screwdriver to suit, logs, bamboo and pine cones.
Use the handsaw to cut the timber into four equal lengths, about 200 mm long. The Trojan 550mm Handsaw has a handy right angle square built into the handle so you can use the back of the saw to mark a nice straight line. It is a great all-round handsaw which makes easy work of home DIY projects. Pre-drill some pilot holes first so the wood does not crack or split when you use the Trojan Screwdriver to put the box together with the screws. Cut another two pieces of pine into 250mm lengths and screw them together at a right angle, this is your new roof. Hammer the roof onto the box so it looks like a little home. Attach the Masonite backing board with small nails.
Lastly, fill the house with ingredients to entice the mini beasts, like cut lengths of bamboo, old pine cones or cut logs with holes of different sizes drilled into them and hang it from a nearby tree for the bugs’ arrival.