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.

Even if you just want to prepare for the spring you can cultivate cover crops which will not only provide you with an activity but improve the soil for the next season. Compost will also continue to decompose providing you with plenty of fuel to kick start your gardening when the sun starts to shine.

If you are looking to grow plants during the winter it would be obvious to opt to grow them in greenhouses, cloches or cold frames. You may want to prepare by planting bulbs such as daffodils, day lilies and tulips in the late autumn/early winter which will most likely bloom towards the end of winter before the spring season even begins, so you don’t have to walk out to a barren garden come spring.

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.

For an important supply of nutrients for any evergreen plants and a key to maintaining the health of your garden through the winter it would be helpful to monitor your composting and make sure it gets turned regularly and has new organic material. It is also a great resource for new plants in the next season when the compost has settled.

There is a selection of frost-hardy crops can make use of your soil and provide a return if you want to grow some vegetables during winter. Quick maturing vegetables like turnips can be a good addition that may not create exceptional results throughout winter but offer a worthwhile gardening activity.

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