Winter gardening can seem a little overwhelming. As the frost sets in, it can feel like an impossible task to breathe new life into your garden. But there's no better time to sow the seeds for spring, according to Agents of Field.
The green-fingered duo, AKA Ade and Sophie, are award-winning bloggers with a passion for homegrown food and sustainability. Starting out with a small allotment plot near London seven years ago, the pair moved to rural Suffolk to live a simple, more sustainable life and turn their love of nature into a business.
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Keen to get the most out of your garden, but not sure where to start? Winter is the perfect time.
WATCH: Get the lowdown on Agents of Field
Ade and Sophie explain: "Now is the time to retreat to a cosy nook, or settle down in front of a warm fire and armed with a laptop, seed catalogues, and pen and paper, start drawing up lists, and make seed orders for next year. Maybe think about re-designing your garden, building a greenhouse, or growing something new on the vegetable patch."
Read on to discover Agents of Field's seasonal tips for budding gardeners…
Try these 5 simple winter gardening tips:
1 - MULCH
Don’t be too quick to bin your exhausted Christmas tree as there’s still plenty of value in it. Shred it for chippings to spread on ericaceous plants, such as blueberries, or use it to create allotment paths. The branches can also make useful allotment plant supports for peas and broad beans.
Agents of Field AKA Ade and Sophie have shared their expert advice
2 - CHILLIES AND PEPPERS
These crops need a long growing season, so get sowing now. With so much variety and choice, growing these fruits has never been so popular. The seeds can be grown in modules, pots or trays to the depth of 6mm, on a windowsill. Although germination can be slow, once their true leaves have been revealed, it's important to pot them up. Keep them warm, lit and well-watered.
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3 - RHUBARB
By forcing rhubarb now, you're simply speeding up its growth for an earlier harvest, and sweeter stems. As soon as new growth appears from the crown, cover the plant over with a rhubarb forcer or container, excluding all light. Eight weeks on, the stalks should be 20-30cm long, and ready to harvest.
4 - GARDEN WILDLIFE
If you have bird-feeding stations, ensure food supplies are topped up, and water supplies are changed regularly and not left to freeze. If you have a fish pond, avoid smashing the ice if it freezes over, as this can shock, or even kill the fish. Instead, try to melt the ice gently with hot water. Don't worry about harming the fish as they tend to remain at the bottom of the pond during the winter.
Winter is coming... so get sowing now
5 – REPAIRS
With the garden looking bare, you can now see the 'bones' of your growing spaces. If you're looking to add structures, trees, or create new areas to grow plants or veg, this visual blueprint is a great guide. It'll also reveal if anything needs repairing or replacing, such as rotten fence panels. With a dormant garden, it's easier to move around on beds without fear of treading on your prize blooms.
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