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Organic Gardening

Seasonal hows and whys


Winter Sowing


Potato Planting


All About Asparagus

Attracting wildlife

Controlling slugs

DIY Potting Mixes

To dig or not to dig?

Home grown workshops


"Hows and Whys": Winter

cat in snowA quiet time in the garden, when even the weeds don’t grow and we toast our toes in front of a blazing fire. Rain, frost and snow make it hard for even the keenest gardener to venture outdoors, but read To dig or not to dig for when you can. 2007 was the year of the slug, so be ready to do battle with that pest when the temperature warms up and they become more active. As winter draws to a close, you can start your winter sowings of vegetables such as tomatoes and peppers that take a long time to fruit, in the greenhouse or on a window sill.

Winter is the time to let nature help reduce garden pests and to think about how to attract more wildlife to your garden. Be sure the fruit and veg garden is clean and clear of debris – decaying cabbage leaves and stalks could harbour overwintering grey aphids, for example. Hang feeders and fatcakes in the garden to attract birds. They will pick over the soil, removing slug eggs and millipedes. And though your cat may catch the odd bird, it’s much more likely to feast on the voles that would scissor down young seedlings.

The cold weather is not all bad either: the frosts will break down the soil making it easier for plant roots to penetrate and will reduce pest numbers.

Winter techniques:

To dig or not to dig?

Winter sowings