Winter yard maintenance tips for keen Kiwis

Kiwi winters can be cold and dark, but that’s no excuse to neglect your garden. In fact, winter’s a great time to get all those yard maintenance tasks done to prepare your garden for spring. We’ve put together a list of seven things you should be doing outside to make sure you have the best-looking property on the block come spring.

Pruning trees and shrubs

Winter is the perfect time to prune your deciduous trees and shrubs. Pruning in winter, when plants are dormant, helps stimulate growth in the spring. Remove any dead or diseased branches, as well as any that are crossing or rubbing against each other. Proper pruning improves the health of your plants and their appearance.

Perfect for the job: Powerworks 40V pole saw or Maruyama multicutter powerhead + 1325mm pruner attachment

Mulching garden beds

Adding a layer of mulch to your garden beds will protect your plants from the frosts and discourage weed growth. Organic mulches, like bark chips or compost, are great choices. They provide insulation and slowly release nutrients into the soil as they decompose. Aim to spread a layer of mulch about 5-7 cm thick around your plants.

Perfect for the job: Powerworks 40V garden cart 5AH

Preparing the lawn

While grass growth slows down in winter, your lawn still requires attention. Rake up any leaves to prevent them from smothering the grass and causing fungal issues. It’s also a good time to aerate your lawn, which helps improve drainage and ensures water and nutrients reach the grass roots. If you notice any bare patches, winter is a good time to reseed them.

Perfect for the job: Solo 421 9kg seed and fertiliser spreader or pick your Earthway spreader

Protecting sensitive plants

Some plants are more susceptible to frost damage than others. If you haven’t already chucked up frost cloth or garden fleece to cover your more delicate plants, it may not be too late. Move potted plants to more sheltered areas, like under a verandah or inside a greenhouse.

Composting organic waste

Winter is a great time to start or maintain a compost heap. Collect kitchen scraps, garden clippings, and fallen leaves to add to your compost bin. Turn the compost regularly to ensure good aeration and cover it with a lid or tarp to retain heat and moisture. By spring, you’ll have rich compost ready to enrich your garden soil.

Cleaning and maintaining garden tools

Now’s the time to clean and maintain your garden tools. Remove any dirt or rust, and sharpen blades so they’re in good working condition. Properly maintained tools make gardening tasks easier and quicker, as well as reducing the risk of damaging plants or yourself.

Planning for spring

Use the slower winter months to get excited about your spring garden. Think about what worked well in your garden last year and what didn’t, and draw up a garden plan. This makes deciding where to plant new flowers, vegetables, and herbs so much easier. Ordering seeds and supplies in now means you’ll be ready to hit the ground running when warmer weather arrives.

Winter yard maintenance is what it’s about if you want the best garden on the block year-round. Get on your winter gear and get outside to prune, mulch, care for your lawn, protect sensitive plants, compost, maintain your tools, and plan for spring – you’ll be happy you did.

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