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Winter is a tough time for your garden, but it’s the perfect time to start landscaping and prepare your luscious Eden for next spring. Get your secateurs ready and plan a few days in your garden this winter. Before you get wrist-deep in the soil though, there are a few things you need to know about prepping your garden for the chilly months.

Get pruning

Retrieve those secateurs from the shed, it’s time to get them working to prepare your prize plants for their time to shine next spring.

Trim your roses. It's easy to under-prune so go crazy, and only leave an open framework with just a few stems; usually three or four. It’s not just the frames that need attention, the soil needs help too. Spray the soil with lime sulfur to clean up any diseases.

It’s not just roses that need pruning

  • Prune your hydrangeas, wisteria and your grape vines so they’re protected over winter, and ready for spring.

  • Gardenias need pruning, but wait until mid-to-late winter in August.

  • Frangipanis are like succulents, and cuttings can turn into new trees. Just trim, then hang to dry in your garden shed. Once the cutting is dry, plant into a sandy potting mix with a stake for support.

Turn up your lawn care game

Your lawn needs extra TLC in winter to make it through heavy rain and the lack of sunlight. Here’s how:

  • Rake your leaves regularly. Photosynthesis is key to your lawn’s survival when it’s covered with leaves, even the weak winter sun can’t keep it alive.

  • Mow the lawn with the lawnmower bag on to prevent clippings accumulating on your lawn. Not only do they prevent sunlight reaching your lawn, but idle clippings can also promote fungal growth.

  • Place a soil stimulant on your lawn, preferably a hose-on version. This helps boost cell turnover in the soil.

  • Add a slow-release lawn fertiliser made for the cooler months. Don’t use a summer one as it can cause burning.

Feed your precious plants

Feeding plants stimulates the soil’s microbial activity which allows plants to store energy reserves until the coming spring. Citrus need an all purpose citrus fertiliser just after the winter solstice in late July.

When you feed your trees, spread it away from the tree’s trunk. The feeder roots are outside the canopy, and are the roots you want to feed the most.

Ensure your garden has adequate drainage

If winter is very wet where you live, make sure water can drain away from your plants. The last thing you want is for your gorgeous plants to be drowned in a downpour due to pooling.

Rescue sensitive plants and bring them indoors

It may sound extreme, but some of your plants just can’t handle to chilly outdoor weather in winter. If you have potted tropical or subtropical plants like hibiscus or bird of paradise, take them indoors and remember to reduce the amount of water you give them. Just like you, plants aren’t as thirsty in winter so don’t drown them.

Your garden needs your help in winter. Even though the colourful flowers may be dormant, except resilient camellias, your garden needs plenty of preparation for spring. Try the tips above, and if you notice your garden is looking a bit flat, ask the experts at your nearest nursery or garden centre for advice.

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