The Majority of gardeners give up as soon as autumn hits and don’t step out on the grass again until spring but there are plenty of activities to keep a garden in use during the winter months which mean you don’t have to sit indoors fiddling with your window baskets. Given the length and depth of this winter it might be worth keeping up a year long gardening plan otherwise you may not get muddy for many months.
To get ready for the spring you can cultivate cover crops which will improve the soil for the following season and also give you something to keep you busy. Decomposing compost will also continue providing you with plenty of fuel to get going with your gardening when the sun starts to shine.
An obvious option for growing plants during the winter would be to grow them in greenhouses, cloches or cold frames. You can begin by planting bulbs such as daffodils, day lilies and tulips in the late autumn/early winter which will probably bloom towards the end of winter before the spring season even begins, so you don’t have to walk out to an empty garden.
To enjoy colour over the cold months try growing plants in containers or raised beds in which you can control the temperature, the moisture and provide a better soil for them to survive the cold. These plants wouldn’t normally be the pride of your patch but they will provide some activity and when spring arrives you can plant them directly into the ground and let them thrive.
If you are keen on maintaining the health of your garden through the winter it would be wise to monitor your composting and ensure it gets turned and has new organic material. This can be a valuable source of nutrients for any evergreen plants you may have but if not, will be a great resource for new plants in the next season when the compost has matured.
A variety of frost-hardy crops will make use of your soil and give a return if you want to grow some vegetables during winter. Turnips and other quick maturing vegetables can be an ideal addition which may not create exceptional results throughout winter but will still make use of your garden.