As the beautiful autumn leaves fall, the days become shorter and colder, we know winter is here. Even in warm areas where winter is warm and dry, there’s a definite change of season.

While gardens up north are recovering from the wet season and preparing for a spell of warm, dry weather, further south gardening is all about preparation for the onset of a cold and often frosty winter.

Follow our 7 steps to prepare your garden for winter so it can flourish and burst into spring growth.

Share our 7-steps-to-prepare-your-garden-for-winter including tips and hints on soil, lawn and plant care including vegies and fruit trees
Share our 7-steps-to-prepare-your-garden-for-winter including tips and hints on soil, lawn and plant care including vegies and fruit trees

Step 1 – Soil preparation and rejuvenation.

Enriching soil in late autumn or early winter gives organic matter time to break down to improve soil health for the busy planting seasons ahead.

  • Check the soil’s moisture levels. If it is dry, apply a soil wetter such as Seasol Super Soil Wetter & Conditioner to improve moisture content.
  • Remove weeds and debris and dig in spent organic mulch along with aged organic manure or homemade compost and/or Seasol Super Compost to improve its structure, microbial and nutrient content.
  • Add a layer of organic mulch such as sugarcane mulch, lucerne or pea straw to stop weed growth and conserve moisture.
  • If possible, let the rejuvenated soil rest so all those good things including worms and microbes can get to work before planting.

Step 2 – Lawn preparation and rejuvenation.

The maintenance required for lawn care varies based on climatic conditions. Below are some tips based on the region:

Share our 7-steps-to-prepare-your-garden-for-winter including tips and hints on soil, lawn and plant care including vegies and fruit trees
Share our 7-steps-to-prepare-your-garden-for-winter including tips and hints on soil, lawn and plant care including vegies and fruit trees

Step 3 – Plant preparation and rejuvenation.

Plants are like us, they react to the cold or heat like we do, but a few easy tips can help prepare them for the seasons ahead.

  • Spent plants can be left to breakdown returning nutrients to the soil or can be added to the compost heap. Remove diseased plants that to avoid spreading problems to healthy plants and soil.
  • Prune back overgrown foliage and flowering plants that have finished. Give them a health treatment with Seasol. Regular applications help to reduce stress from both heat and cold.
  • If plants continue to grow, feed them regularly throughout the seasons. Feed them via your preferred method, either a liquid such as PowerFeed All Purpose including Natives or a granular such as Seasol plus Nutrients All Purpose including Natives.
  • Keep an eye on plants, especially those in pots that are sensitive to extreme temperatures. For protection, move them to a sheltered area under a tree or deck. Use a frost cover to protect frost-tender plants or, where heat is an issue, invest in shade cloth to protect them.

Step 4 – Indoor plant tips.

Have fun using indoor plants to brighten up any space. Keep them happy, healthy and growing lush.

  • Check moisture levels of potting mix by putting your finger down to the second knuckle. If it feels dry, water it, and if feels moist, leave it. Plants use less moisture in cooler weather so always check before watering.
  • Move plants away from bright light in warmer areas and towards the light in cooler areas. Keep your plants away from direct contact with air conditioners or heaters and draw curtains or blinds at night.
  • Remove any dead or diseased foliage and wipe dust off leaves as required. You can also use EarthCare White Oil insect spray to protect your plants from pests and give them a nice leaf shine.
  • Indoor plants may slow their growth in cooler weather.  Only fertilise if the plant is actively growing. Liquid feed with PowerFeed Indoor & Potted Plants. Generally, apply to the potting mix soil every two to four weeks.
Share our 7-steps-to-prepare-your-garden-for-winter including tips and hints on soil, lawn and plant care including vegies and fruit trees
Share our 7-steps-to-prepare-your-garden-for-winter including tips and hints on soil, lawn and plant care including vegies and fruit trees

Step 5 – Vegie patch maintenance

Planning ahead for a successful winter vegie patch will reward you with tasty and nutritious fresh produce.

Plant what you like to eat. In warm winter zones grow tomatoes, cucumber, capsicum, and chillies. In cool winter regions grow broccoli, kale, onions, peas, broad beans, and salad greens. Here are some tips to get those productive plants growing.

  • Ensure there is a steady supply of moisture for growth and to encourage better taste and texture.
  • Plant in areas where there is at least six hours of sun a day. Apply Seasol for healthy growth and to help protect plants from the cold or heat.
  • Vegies are gross feeders, so apply a liquid fertiliser such as PowerFeed PRO SERIES for Tomatoes & Vegetables weekly to boost growth, flowering and fruiting.
  • Check regularly for pests and diseases. If plants like tomatoes or capsicum in warmer areas or peas and beans in cooler areas need the support of trellis or frames, ensure they are well supported.
  • Harvest produce as it ripens.

Step 6 – Citrus and fruit tree maintenance

Whether fruit trees are preparing for flowering and fruiting, or are dormant and getting ready for spring growth, they benefit from attention now.

Productive Trees:

  • Water deeply and regularly to ensure perfect fruit formation for juicy fruit.
  • Remove weeds and rejuvenate the soil with Seasol Liquid Compost (which doesn’t need to be dug in, so won’t disturb the root system of your fruit tree).
  • Keep plants healthy and strong with Seasol plus Nutrients Fruit & Citrus. To do this, rake back the mulch, gently dig it into the topsoil under the canopy, and water thoroughly. Rake back the mulch or replenish if needed.
  • Check fruit is forming well. Where there are clusters of overcrowded fruit, thin the crop while the fruit is small, particularly if the tree is young and the branches are weak.
  • Ensure cold-sensitive fruit trees such as citrus are sheltered from cold winds.

Dormant Trees:

  • Remove dead and damaged foliage and twigs along with branches that are crossing each other or rubbing. This lets in air and removes potential for disease. Check for wounds caused by insects and fungal diseases and treat for example with a fungicide spray. Also look for overwintering pests for example under loose bark. Check out our pest guide.
  • During winter treat deciduous trees with a winter spray of lime sulfur or a copper spray to combat diseases that occur in spring and summer.
  • Remove weeds and apply Seasol Plant + Soil Booster to improve soil health in preparation for strong spring growth.
  • Apply Seasol and replenish mulch to keep the soil weed free but don’t allow it to build up around trunks.
Share our 7-steps-to-prepare-your-garden-for-winter including tips and hints on soil, lawn and plant care including vegies and fruit trees
What to do in your garden in winter in June 2023 including successfully removing weeds

Step 7 – Gardening tips and tricks.

Get prepared for the months ahead with these easy jobs in the shed or in the garden.

  • Check your garden shed and remove old or empty products. Stack empty pots and take them to the nearest recycling centre (most Bunnings stores will have a recycle spot).
  • Sharpen and clean gardening tools, including secateurs and pruning tools.
  • Plants that were crowded or straggly during the growing season, can be pruned back or dug up and divided. Replant them with the help of Seasol.
  • Check soil moisture levels beside the deck or under the eaves and apply Seasol Super Soil Wetter & Conditioner to keep your plants moist.
  • Replenish potting mix in pots and top up mulches to maintain a consistent potting mix temperature. Use Seasol Potting Mix Booster to revitalise potting mix by adding beneficial microbes.
  • Remove weeds in garden beds, pathways and driveways with EarthCare Organic WeedKiller spray.