We all know that winter means our gardening regimes slow down but here at Eco Food Wrap HQ, we’ve found there’s still plenty to be done outside for the cooler months! We thought we’d share a few winter garden tips with you this week as solstice passes and the earth starts to emerge again!
The first thing you’ll probably notice is that weeding is still needed during this time of year- although most plant growth has slowed down- it still needs to happen if even less often than you would normally inspect for weeds. Having less to maintain in your garden means you can use this time to try and remove as many competitors as possible before the weather starts warming up again- particularly if you are growing produce to live from. More space means more potential harvest later on!
It’s also a great time to review your gardening equipment. You can check wooden handles for cracks or potential break and replace any handles or fixtures as required- remember it’s better to fix and repurpose existing tools rather than just replacing them as this reduces our own consumption and waste! For handles that have been roughened by weather or use, you can sand them back lightly and rub them with some linseed oil and an old cloth scrap to help preserve the wood and give it some nourishment. A good tip for your older hand tools is to mix coarse sand and some oil to make it greasy (but not soaked in oil) in a container that is large enough to stand your hand tools up inside of. Use this mix to store your hand tools when not in use to keep your handles clean and rust-free.
Winter means an abundance of leaves in green areas. These can be collected to improve your soil- they are excellent food for your soil as they contain minerals and nutrients that have been fed to the leaves through the deep root systems of their parent trees. Leaves act as mulch and improve soil’s water holding capacity and help to act as a catch for nutrients in your soil, keeping that goodness circulating as they break down. For larger leaves, you can try mulching them with your lawnmower to break them up so that they are easier to add to your soil Speaking of mulch, top up mulch on your veggie patches and herb gardens as this helps to suppress weed growth. Choose low environmental impact mulch, one that will enrich your soil as it breaks down.
As solstice has passed, the earth is starting to wake up again and your plants really love a bit of a gourmet meal around this time. A seaweed tea or some juice from your worm farm is perfect, especially for the seedlings planted this month. Early in the morning is a great time to fertilise, and also the best time to water. Rather than your usual every day watering for the warmer months, nice, deep drink a couple of times a week is far more beneficial to your plants! Always check soil before watering, don’t waste water if necessary- nature can be a great watering system in these colder months!
It’s also a good time to plant certain vegetables; all types of onions and radishes grow well right
now; and it is also a great time to get spinach and bean varieties happening. You can also start lettuce, broccoli, turnips and peas. Starting a small container garden for herbs is also a great idea now- chervil, chicory, coriander, fennel, garlic bulbs, lavender, marjoram, oregano, parsley, rocket, sage, sorrel, rosemary and thyme will all do well now with a contained garden and some care. Start them off in some egg cartons, or loo rolls; keep them in a warm sunny area until they sprout, and then transfer them to a garden bed and watch them grow! We’ve even been storing some of our seeds in our smaller wraps folded into a snack pocket- it’s handy and you can even co-ordinate your wraps to match your seeds.
Have you thought up any creative uses for Eco Food Wraps or have any winter garden tips you’d like to share? Let us know on our Facebook page!