Stay Healthy When Gardening in the Winter
Winter might be slowly getting put behind us but with colder weather still in force, it can be difficult to find the motivation to get up, go outside, and tackle the garden.
Luckily, most of these problems can be overcome with simple solutions that mean you don’t spend hours outside in the chilly air. This guide will help you dig deep and tackle all those niggly garden jobs – like exercises you can do to ease stiff joints and tips on how to remove mould from walls and floors in your garden shed or greenhouse to keep everything clean and hygienic.
- Uncertain weather: cold air and frosts can be harmful for plants, as it means the water within their cells freezes, expanding and damaging the structure. There are some steps you can take to prevent this, like not planting delicate plants where they’ll face the morning sun (being in direct sunlight so quickly means that they defrost much faster).
- Stiff joints: when you’re out and about less thanks to wet, cold weather, it can be difficult to find the motivation to get outdoors and see to the garden. Keep energised and fit all year round by performing a simple exercise routine at home. You can add in low-cost equipment like pull up bars, a yoga mat or a resistance band, which can also improve flexibility. Gentle stretching and low-impact activities like swimming or walking can help with longer term joint pain, letting you dive straight into your planting come spring.
- Under-watering: giving your plants enough water during cold snaps can be a difficult task, and depends on your local climate. Keep an eye on rainfall and dig down a few inches into your garden to check whether the soil is dry if you’re concerned. When there’s a frost, it can actually mean that plants are suffering drought, as they have no way to get water from the ground. So, if you see a long period of frost predicted on the weather forecast, give your plants a good drink beforehand.
- Over-watering: in many areas, over-watering can be just as much of a problem as under-watering during cold weather. In areas of high rainfall and boggy soil, plants can wilt, droop and become stunted because of over-watering. You might also spot a grey-coloured mould growing on the plant, another sure sign. Of course, they don’t need any more water, but to combat this problem you can also turn over the soil to get some air in and mulch often. If the problem is really severe, consider using raised beds, which let water drain off better.
- Musty shed: is your garden shed smelling a little damp and musty? It could be a sign of mildew or mould, which can provoke allergies if they’re not dealt with. Thankfully, learning how to remove mould and mildew from walls, flooring and even roofs is simple. Just clean with three parts water to one part bleach, remembering to wear protective clothing. Still unsure? You can find a more detailed guide on how to remove mould and mildew from walls here.
To stop the problem from happening again, try to vent your shed as often as possible throughout cold weather and apply a wood or other appropriate preservative.
Staying on Top of the Gardening
And there you have it – a few simple tips on how to make sure that your garden stays at its best no matter what the time of year … or the temperature!