Vegetable garden, lawn care and pruning: winter gardening | Leaf Probably

Winter is coming, but that doesn’t mean it’s time to ignore the garden.

There’s a lot you can do now to protect your plants from cool weather and make spring and summer life easier.

Tasmanian author and gardening expert Jennifer Stackhouse shares five cool-weather gardening chores.

A good time to move dormant plants

Many plants are dormant in the colder months but have not died.(delivered)

Jennifer says plants in many climates of Australia lose their leaves at this time of year, and if you’re a new gardener or have moved elsewhere with an unfamiliar garden, you could mistake hibernation for death.

“Branches can still be bent and have some green inside.”

She says the benefits of a dormant plant are that it can be pruned and also digged up and moved.

“If it’s a perennial, like dahlias, then these are plants that die underground to form a bulb,” she says.

“You can actually dig them up and share them and put them in other parts of the garden or give them away to friends.

“Or if you don’t want to bother with that part of the garden, you don’t have to do anything.”

Tasmanian author and gardening expert Jennifer Stackhouse.(Supplied: Kim Woods Rabbidge)

Protect plants from frost

Plants, like humans, can feel cold.

Tropical plants and subtropical plants living in a cold winter area may need some protection.

Jennifer uses the example of gardenias and citrus in pots.

“In the winter they might start to suffer a bit,” she says.

“Try moving her to a warmer place.”

She says if frost is forecast the crops can be covered for protection.

Even succulents might need some cover.

“Some succulents are hardy and some aren’t, so I tend to treat potted succulents as not hardy until I know otherwise,” she says.

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