When Jack Frost has taken over your garden, it can be very tempting to pack away your green thumb until the sun makes an appearance again.

You will, however, appreciate a little maintenance and preparation come springtime – plus there is a whole world of indoor and winter gardening to be discovered. These winter gardening tips and tricks can help you prepare your garden for the cold snap and make sure you’re ready when the warmth returns.

Planning

Winter is ideal for snuggling up with some gardening books and a sketch pad to plan out your dream garden. Think about the projects you might like to take on, and take the time to research what they involve – books and gardening catalogues can be a great source of inspiration. A bit of planning will help your garden to thrive all summer long, plus it gives you opportunity to prepare your to-do lists and supplies so that you are ready and waiting for planting season!

Tuck your garden up for winter

Laying a couple of inches of compost followed by a layer of mulch over your flower beds and crops will help to protect them from the worst of the frost, plus provide essential nutrients that will keep them healthy throughout the dormant months.

Covering crops with clear plastic sheeting will help to prevent erosion and protect the quality of the soil.

It’s a good time to fertilise the lawn too, so that it has a chance to recover from any damage caused by ball games and paddling pools during the summer months!

Discover winter plants

There are many plants and crops that enjoy the cooler temperatures, particularly greens (think spinach, parsley kale, mustard and Swiss chard). Shrubs such as winter hazel, witch hazel and honeysuckle will cheer up the bleak view on a cold winter’s morning, and violas and pansies will even add a dash of colour to the frost. Give them a better chance by planting in pots in the most sheltered corners of your garden!

Garden indoors

Houseplants are protected from the cold temperatures of course, but keep them away from direct heat as they won’t like that either! Central heating dries out the air in your home, so make sure to keep your house plants watered regularly, and consider grouping a few together as they will help to protect one another.

Late winter is a great time to get started with seedlings that you’ll move outdoors in spring.

Broccoli, tomatoes, leeks and onions will all thrive on a windowsill until they are ready for the great outdoors!