5 Winter Lockdown Gardening Activities

Last year, we saw a huge renaissance in gardening, with both experienced and amateur newcomers taking time to grow their own and beautify their plots.

Lockdown number three may have scuppered lots of our plans, but as the start of the gardening year, January is a great time to prepare and plan ahead.

As well as helping to while away all that the time at home, preparing your garden in winter will reap bountiful rewards by spring.  Plus, there are so many benefits to getting outdoors at this time of year.  As well as helping you to keep physically active, gardening is also great for your mental health, especially at this time of year when many of us can struggle with the shorter days.

So, despite the weather being pretty miserable at the moment, now is a perfect time to pull on your wellies and waterproofs, and brave the outdoors.

To help get you started, we’ve collated our five top gardening activities for this time of year.

  • memorial roses

Activity one: Pot, plant and prune

1. Plant bareroot plants – January is mid-way through the dormant season and is the best time to plant bareroot roses, trees, shrubs and perennials, so they have time to establish over winter.

A cheaper alternative to mature plants, bareroot plants are best planted during a mild spell.  Be extra careful of very cold snaps though as they can kill unprotected, tender plants.

Give bareroot plants a head start by potting them in planters with good quality compost, before planting them out in the spring.  This allows the plants to develop a strong rootball and  build strength without having to battle with weeds, pests and more established plants.

 

  • garden container

2. Pot up containers – there’s still time to add a pop of colour to your patio by potting up hardy bedding plants.  The rich hues of primroses, forget-me-nots, winter heathers and cyclamen will provide winter interest and are still widely available in garden centres and online.  Plus, spring bulbs are still available at this time of year, along with ready potted bulbs which can simply be sunk into planters or troughs.  Choose Narcissus, violas or hellebores for a beautiful springtime spectacle.

3. Practice your pruning  – sharpen your shears as there is no better time of year to prepare your plants for the year ahead.  Cutting back overgrown plants will prevent them outgrowing their space, as well as stimulating new growth to ensure the best display or crop in spring and summer.  What should you focus on?

  • Prune rose bushes, late-flowering clematis, buddleja and wisteria
  • Deadhead faded flowers, old hellebore leaves and tidy up perennial plants like sedum
  • Ornamental grasses should be tidied before new growth begins
  • It’s a good idea to trim back overgrown ivy and Virginia Creeper before nesting birds start to build their nests.
  • garden bulbs

Activity two: Carry out these easy garden maintenance jobs

There’s plenty of activities to be done during these colder days.  Tick a few of the below off your to do list now and you’ll have more time to relax and enjoy your garden when the warmer seasons begin.  Here’s our five top winter garden maintenance tips:

1. Clean your pots, planters, stonework and water features – our handy blog provides lots of advice
2. Organise your shed – a good tidy-out is a satisfying and practical winter task
3. Pre-order seeds, bulbs and plants – plan your summertime garden design goals and get ahead of the game by pre-ordering everything you need
4. Check stored bulbs – inspect tubers and bulbs for mould, pests or moisture
5. Look after your garden tools – sharpen and oil shears, remove rust and built-up dirt from digging tools, maintain your lawn mower by following the manufacturer’s guidance.

 

  • maintain greenhouse

Activity three: Don’t forget to maintain your greenhouse

Looking after your greenhouse or garden building is really important during the winter.  Giving this all important outside space some TLC will ensure it stays in tip-top condition for years to come.  There’s also plenty of sowing to be done ahead of the warmer seasons.  Here’s some handy maintenance tips for maintaining your greenhouse this winter:

1. Clean and disinfect your greenhouse – this will help prevent pests and diseases spreading inside, which is especially important for protecting fragile seedlings and young, tender plants.  Wash your greenhouse glazing both inside and out to let in as much light as possible.
2. Check the electrics – this is a good time to check any lighting works and that the heater is working efficiently.  Monitor the greenhouse temperature with a max-min thermometer.
3.  Tidy and clear-out – recycle plastic plant pots, remove old grow bags and sweep the shelves and flooring.

Now is a great time to start considering a new garden building such as an Orangery.

Orangeries offer additional living space as well as helping to bring the outside in.  They are ideal for housing and protecting sun-loving citrus, tropical and ornamental trees throughout the colder winter months.  Haddonstone produces a range of garden buildings, each designed to add a spectacular focal point to your outside space.

Our useful blog explains how an Orangery can help you bring the outside in.

  • bird bath

Activity four: Remember to look after your garden birds

Britain’s birds are suffering unprecedented habitat loss, putting pressure on species to survive, especially during the harsh winter months.

Here are four easy things you can do to attract and support your garden birds this winter:

  1. Provide high-energy, nutritious food – such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds, or homemade suet balls.  Place on a raised bird table to provide a safe space for ground foraging species
  2. Install a bird bath – a bird bath will offer our feathered friends both drinking and bathing water
  3. Buy a nest box with a camera – so you can watch birds building their nests and raising their broods in spring
  4. Take part in the RSPB Bird Watchthe world’s largest wildlife survey allows the RSPB to monitor bird numbers and health across the UK.

Find out more tips on how to look after your garden birds this winter.

  • care for indoor plants

Activity five:…if you do (or don’t) have a garden

Research by Barratt Homes found that 14% of the UK population (over 9 million people) live in a flat or maisonette, meaning they’re unlikely to have their own private gardens.  Yet lack of space shouldn’t deter you from enjoying gardening.

From living wall kits to growing herbs on your windowsill, or garnishing your balcony with wall planters and trailing plants, there are so many ways this unstoppable trend can be incorporated into your space, whatever the size.

Plus, if you don’t have a garden or outside space (or you simply don’t fancy going outside because of the weather!), indoor house plants can help create a soothing home environment.  Their colour, textures and scents can be really uplifting at any time of year and with a little care and attention, indoor plants can help to create a welcoming, indoor oasis.

In our blog, we found the best house plants to boost your mood.

  • Haddonstone Victorian Trough and Support

    planter

We can help you choose the perfect garden planters

Whether you’re growing them indoors or outdoors, it’s important that your plants are kept safe and can be easily cared for.

Planters and urns are great containers for your plants, whether you have a large garden or a small outdoor patch.

We have a wide range that are perfect for your winter blooms, so contact our friendly team today to discuss the options and find the ideal container for your plants.

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