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9 Things to Do in Your Garden During a Cold South African Winter

Winter has finally arrived, and with it a list of tasks to preserve your winter during the colder months

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By House & Garden | July 4, 2024 | Gardens

Many of us plan our spring/summer gardens during the winter months rather than actually gardening, but that doesn't mean there's nothing to do. There is nothing more enjoyable than spending time outside on a crisp winters day. A few minutes spent in the garden in winter can lighten the work load for next year and give you a chance to escape from the last minute spring gardening rush.

Nine Gardening Tasks for the Winter Months:

Be prepared for sudden swings in temperature and protect tender plants with a horticultural fleece, newspaper or blankets.

Leave the faded flower heads on your hydrangeas until the spring, as they will provide frost protection to the swelling buds further down the stems.

Leave the faded flower heads on your hydrangeas. Image: Supplied.

Dig over bare soil and pile manure on top - let the worms and frosts break up the clods of soil.

Dig over bare soil and pile manure on top. Image: Supplied.

If you haven't already done so, clean out the greenhouse thoroughly. Wash the glass, the floor and the staging with a mild disinfectant to kill any overwintering pests and diseases.

Winter is the right time t clean out your greenhouse thoroughly, no matter its size. Image courtesy of Rowen and Wren.

If the weather is mild, continue to cut the grass if it's growing, but raise the height of the mower blades. Spike the lawn with a fork to improve drainage and aeration. Continue to clear leaves to let in light and prevent dead patches appearing.

During milder weather, continue to cut the grass if it's growing. Image: Supplied.

There is still time to plant tulips - avoid planting on a frosty day and use chicken wire to protect the bulbs from hungry squirrels.

Use chicken wire to protect the bulbs of your tulips from scavenging squirrels. Image: Supplied.

If you have planted up paperwhites, amaryllis (Lily) and other bulbs for indoor flowering, bring them into a warm and well-lit room to encourage blooms during the festive period.

Amaryllis (Lily) provides both colour and scent when brought inside. Image: Supplied.

Take the time to enjoy winter scents in the garden. Daphne odora ‘Marginata’ and Sarcococca (Christmas Box) all smell wonderful. It is worth putting a few sprigs into a vase to scent a room.

Fragrant, flowering Daphne odora ‘Marginata’. Image: Supplied.

Cut evergreen foliage and branches to fashion into festive garlands and wreaths. Conifers, ivy, Cornus stems and holly make beautiful traditional displays. Eucalyptus and ferns can make strikingly simple displays in a more contemporary setting.

This story was adapted from the original on House & Garden UK.