Gardening in winter ‘shouldn’t be rushed’

Although winter can be a difficult time for gardeners, it is important not to lose patience and attempt to do work with garden tools that should really be left until later on in the year.

Chief horticultural adviser at the Royal Horticultural Society Guy Barter said this is particularly the case when it comes to soil.

He explained that if any work is done when the earth is still too wet, then a significant amount of needless setbacks could be created.

Indeed, in a recent article for the Guardian, former Gardeners' World presenter Alys Fowler recommended laying down some manure in order to keep soil in good health throughout the trying winter period.

However, Mr Barter emphasised that a green-fingered enthusiast would do much better to find some related tasks to do, rather than actual garden work, as well as planning ahead.

"Use the time to get your garden ready and do a bit of research," he advised.

"The best growing and planting conditions come a little later on," the expert continued, adding: "Use the time now to get ready – there is never enough time in the spring for a gardener."

In terms of winter planting, Mr Barter said that the hellebore offers a wide range of benefits. He noted that they are very easy to grow and relatively cheap.

This means that they could be ideal to satiate anyone's appetite to get growing before the traditional spring season.

"Unfortunately most of the flowers that flower in the winter are extraordinarily tough for obvious reasons, so it is well worth investing in [hellebores]," Mr Barter commented.

He went on to state that orchids are also becoming very affordable – thanks in part to modern growing techniques – so these could make some exceptional indoor plants.

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