As the temperatures drop, and the rains roll in, there’s no doubt the winter months can be a slower time for many. But for your garden, things couldn’t be more different.
The cooler season brings armies of weeds, wild winter storms, meaning extra maintenance duties for Perth gardeners. You may well be wondering if your garden is ready for the winter?
Here are seven tips to keep your garden healthy throughout winter and help it thrive throughout the rainy season.
1. Adjust your reticulation
Adjusting your reticulation run times is easily overlooked during the winter months. Changing your reticulation schedule won’t just save on your water bill – you’ll also avoid over-watering your plants. Think about how you can re-distribute your water according to individual plants’ needs. It’s also worth remembering that your sprinklers should not be turned on between 1 June to 31 August or you risk a $100 fine. Allowing the winter rains to take care of most of your watering saves you money and you save precious water.
2. Fight the weeds
This is probably the biggest shock come winter. The invasion of weeds can take even the most seasoned gardeners by surprise. One morning you look out and bang – they’re everywhere.
As a proactive gardener, you have no choice but to tackle them head-on. Here’s how to manage the situation:
- Remove them before they seed. If you don’t – expect double come next year. Make sure you get the whole plant including the roots – otherwise those suckers will grow back in a week.
- Deprive them of light and oxygen – adding mulch (up to 5cm) is a great way of keeping the lid on some types of weeds that thrive in Perth’s sandy ground.
- Use chemicals only if you’re drowning in weeds – strong chemicals will probably get rid of weeds – but they’ll also potentially get rid of some of your precious plants. Always use as suggested on the label and do your research before applying to your whole garden.
3. Maximise sunlight
If there’s one thing that gardens need most during winter – its sunlight and warmth. Not only is winter cooler, but it’s also when the sun is lower to the horizon throughout the day.
If your garden is mostly shaded – you may find many of your plants sit dormant throughout the winter months. That’s totally normal, but the more sunlight you can afford them the better. Here are some tips on how to maximise sunlight:
- Plant strategically – try to plant sun dependant plants in areas of your garden that receive the most sun (for example away from fences or structures that block the sun)
- Plant deciduous trees – that way when their leaves fall during autumn your plants below can benefit from the extra sun filtering through. Just beware to clean up the mounds of leaves that may fall when the trees mature – their leaves will get bigger, and likely cover up large parts of the garden.
- Create levels – this way you can raise plants up to receive more sunlight even when the sun is sitting low on the horizon.
4. Choose your plants carefully
It’s a good idea to think carefully about what plants you choose and where you plant them.
Including winter-flowering shrubs like Lavender, Rosemary, and Geraldton Wax is a great way to add a delicious-smelling and flowery Perth winter garden.
If you’re after a more lush winter garden – make sure to include plenty of ferns, ground covers, and vines to retain moisture when the warmer spring months arrive.
5. Prepare for storms
Winter storms are known to bring destructive winds to the West Coast, and your winter garden should be prepared. Make sure your young plants and saplings are well secured with a stake for stability in strong winds. There’s nothing worse than waking up to your precious plants being pushed over by battering winds. Make sure your drains and gutters are well cleaned and prepared for an influx of water, and ensure your garden has sufficient drainage to avoid flooding.
6. Add a winter veggie patch
Winter is the perfect time to start your own veggie patch. With plenty of rain on the way and the right soil conditions, you can start your own mini-farm in your backyard with little hassle at all.
Think about what vegetables, herbs, and other goodies you want to include, and then make sure you’re affording them the right conditions to grow as well as possible. From kale, leeks, beets, rocket and spinach, and onions – winter may be wet but it’s also a unique opportunity to grow some delicious ingredients.
7. Plan ahead for early spring
The winter months are the ideal time to start planning your next garden project! Whether you’re planning on switching out some plants, re-imagining your design, or even adding a new outdoor gathering area, now is the time to get stuck in.
Get your project underway with professional landscape architects Perth at your side. With the right expertise, you can have your new garden project finished for the Spring. Give your local landscape architects a call today.