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May 31, 2022 2 min read

As the temperatures drop, it's time to shift into winter garden mode! The growing season is over, winter temperatures are setting in, and we should begin prepping our garden for winter. There's not much growth going on, and the winter sun will be less prominent.

Aerate your lawn

The soil in your lawn and garden beds can become compacted during the winter. This means water won't reach the roots, and may create puddles on the soil surface.

For small lawns, you can aerate using a gardening fork or a pitchfork! If your garden is on the large side, check if your local garden maintenance service has a lawn aerator.

Remove weeds

Your plants may slow down in winter but the weeds don't! They'll be prominent after the growing season into early autumn. Dig them up and place them in the trash, or toss them into your compost pit. Make sure you get all of the invasive plants – otherwise, they'll sprout again in early spring!

Be mindful of garden pests

Following wet weather, snails and slugs emerge (gross, we know). If you're brave enough, simply pluck them off and contact local pest control for how to displace them.

Are you a coffee lover? Slugs and snails are not. Coffee grounds might be your best bet when it comes to protecting your plants and deterring slugs and snails. The added bonus when using coffee grounds is that they add nutrients to your soil. Coffee grounds are one of the best and most recommended ways to deter slugs and snails from your garden.

Layer on the mulch

Mulching helps protect the soil from cold temperatures and lock in moisture over a longer period of time. By layering organic mulch over your garden, you'll give your garden better winter protection.

Sow cover crops

This will help prevent soil erosion from winter rains and break up compacted soil. They also add nutrients that your plants can use during lean winter months.

  • Some good cover crops to plant for winter include:
  • Spring onions
  • Broad beans
  • Snow peas
  • Green beans

And all sorts of other plants – legumes, mustard, cereal grains, etc.

Prune shrubs and plants

Prune dead branches and diseased limbs during winter, when your plants will be less affected by the damage. Fall pruning means your plants can focus their energy on regrowing limbs through late winter into next spring. The cold will also help with healing the bark wounds.

Grow winter flowering plants

Many plants flower during winter, so you don't need to despair about your garden lacking colour! Here are some excellent winter-flowering plants for Australian gardens:

  • Hardenbergia
  • Snowdrop
  • Lily of the Valley
  • Paper Daisy
  • Lavender
  • Winter Rose

Check what's available at your local nursery so you can have bright spots amid the dreary winter months.

Garden winter tips

For other tips for how to care for your garden in winter, you can:

  • Clean and sharpen your tools ahead of spring
  • Consider companion planting
  • Trim your perennials (carefully!)
  • Begin refreshing your compost
  • Set indoor plants near windows

Don't wait until next season to care for your garden – or you won't have a garden to care for after winter!