The Mediterranean Gardener
We teamed up with Michael, The Mediterranean Gardener on Instagram and TikTok, earlier this year, as he tested and shared his favourite Hozelock products. As the year draws to a close, we caught up with Michael again to find out his top tips for winter garden care and how to look after your watering equipment.
Winter might seem like a time to close the curtains and put your garden on hiatus. However, to ensure a lush and healthy garden come spring, winter maintenance is essential. Here are my top tips for looking after your garden in winter and maintaining your hosepipes and watering equipment.
Prepare Your Beds
Clean up the fallen leaves and spent blooms from your flower beds. Once you’ve cleared the debris, consider adding mulch to enrich the soil.
Protect Your Plants
Some plants are more vulnerable to cold than others. Wrapping them in a layer of horticultural fleece can provide the necessary protection they need. For particularly tender plants, you might want to consider moving them to a greenhouse or indoors, provided they get enough sunlight.
Trim and Prune
Winter is the perfect time for pruning your shrubs and trees, as it gives you a clear vision of the branches and buds without the cover of leaves. Pruning promotes new growth and discourages disease. Make sure you research the right pruning techniques for each plant type to avoid unnecessary damage.
Maintain Your Water Features
If you have a pond or fountain, you can add a floating ball which will prevent the water from freezing entirely, which can be harmful to aquatic life.
Now onto an often overlooked aspect of winter garden care – the maintenance of hosepipes and their attachments. Hosepipes left out in freezing temperatures can crack and tear, rendering them useless when spring arrives.
Firstly, empty your hosepipe by rolling it up and pushing out any remaining water. The residual water can freeze and expand, potentially damaging the pipe walls. Once it’s fully drained, store your hosepipe in a shed or garage, away from the harsh winter elements.
Spray guns, sprinklers and connectors should also be thoroughly drained of water, then dried and stored. Rubber O-rings and seals on hose attachments should be checked, and if these are worn out or damaged, they should be replaced before storage to avoid any broken equipment come spring.
Finally, disconnect your hosepipe from any external taps. If previously uninsulated, insulate outdoor taps with a cover to prevent them from freezing.