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This autumn has been particularly pleasant thanks to optimal sunshine, mild temperatures and the absence of wind: ideal for our winter garden.
Between November and March, the gardener breathes a little and conceives, in his warm home, the actions of the spring to come. But keeping direct contact with the garden is essential. Especially since there are always tasks to be done to maintain and arrange your outdoors.
Here is the advice of landscape designer Pierre Geeraerts.
Collect the leaves and mulch in winter
Here are the bare trees: continue to collect all the dead leaves until the last ones, in order to have a clean garden and to avoid the accumulation of organic matter. Compost them or use them as mulching, then selecting if necessary those that are not too full of water, depending on the weather. Mulching protects the soil and enriches it (see how the forest floor is never bare). Straw, bark, gravel, pozzolana, slate, woven tarpaulin (allowing water to pass through): a wide range of choices are available to the gardener.
From a general point of view, also clean flower beds, ornamental ponds, garden accessories ...
Winter the most fragile plants
If it is necessary to bring in a cold greenhouse, or even indoors, the most fragile and exotic plants, or special pruning such as in clouds, you can on the other hand let the more robust ones take advantage of the weather, if the latter is good. Simply prepare the winter sails and other protection so that you can cover them as soon as the temperatures drop.
Read also: protect plants in winter
Plant, sow, taste!
In the kitchen garden, winter vegetables such as salads, the cabbage, leeks, parsnip and Jerusalem artichokes are to be collected and tasted.
Also start thinking about your vegetable garden plan for a new cycle, setting up a crop rotation.
As for the sowing, they can begin to be implemented under shelter. If it doesn't freeze in January, you can even plant a few rosebushes, trees and shrubs obsolete, as well as some fruit trees and perennials (except annuals), and take the opportunity to dig a little into the surrounding soil to aerate it. Finally, start preparing the summer bulbs.
Prune (or not) in winter
In general, it is imperative to prune out of frost. At the onset of winter, it is sometimes still possible to thin out the more vigorous plants, such as climbing, roses and perennials, which were still beautiful in early fall.
On the other hand, most summer-flowering plants need to keep what you might call a "little sweater" to resist the cold, so don't touch the flowers again.hydrangeas nor to grasses for example, and program the size of the shrubs rather at the end of winter.
Also remember that, on the fruit side, stone trees prune "green" while pome trees prune when they have no more leaves.
Development work: spring objective
To fully enjoy the garden when nature awakens, it is good to carry out major landscaping work in winter, always if the weather permits: renovation of an alley, preparation of the ground for a lawn, a hedge, a terrace, a pool ... Finally, be sure to take care, too, of the good health of birds and other little inhabitants of your garden by providing them with water and suitable food, while building them a shelter for the colder nights. They will be grateful to you by staying by your side even in early spring!