Over winter pests and diseases ease their grip on the garden but it’s worth keeping an eye out to make sure you’re on top of any infestations before warmer weather causes existing problems to multiply.
A little prevention now can save you lots of hard work in spring when the garden comes back to life, so don’t let the cold weather keep you indoors.
Maintenance such as the regular mowing of lawns, weeding and pruning of shrubs is essential, as is tailoring your garden-care plan to the changed conditions in your area.
Follow these simple rules to nurse the garden through the cooler months and ensure plants are strong and healthy for new spring growth.
1. Get mulching
Mulch pots and garden beds to keep weeds at bay, pulling them out as soon as they appear.
Wait until after rain to remove weeds from beds and between pavers as the soil is softer, making them easier to pull out with roots attached.
2. Companion planting
Plan a companion-planting system as a solution to pest control.
Certain plants act as deterrents to pests and can be used in place of chemical controls.
TIP: Try onions and garlic near roses to repel aphids and thrips.
3. Treat black spot
Rose black spot causes leaves to turn yellow with black dots.
Pick off and burn infected leaves and give the plant a hard prune in late winter before spraying with a fungicide.
There are disease-resistant roses available, so choose those varieties if black spot is a problem in your yard.