PROPERTY NEWS - Out of sight, out of mind: that is how many gardens suffer neglect though winter. Your winter garden may not be the prettiest it's ever been - the trees are bare, the grass is browning and it's just too cold to be outside.
But if you look forward to beautiful spring blooms and a spring-ready garden, grabbing a jacket and bearing the cold will be worth it.
Prepare your plants
When animals hibernate for the winter they do it on a full stomach and with stores of food. Think of your winter garden as your garden in hibernation. In nature, the fallen leaves and plant matter fill the soil with the extra nutrients plants need through winter so they can thrive through spring.
Make sure your plants have their fill of mulch and compost throughout winter. This will help to protect them from the cold and give them a great start come spring.
Stay clear of quick release fertilisers though - you don't want to encourage new growth just before a cold snap.
Be water wise
Although it is better to water your plants at night during summer to avoid the water evaporating before it is absorbed, in winter it's better to water plants during the day. This will help prevent the water freezing on your plants and damaging them if temperatures dip.
Prune, prune, prune and prune some more
Pruning your plants in winter seems like you risk finishing them off after they've been battered by the elements, but looks in this case are definitely deceiving.
For plants like roses, fruit trees, wisteria and ornamental shrubs, a good prune during the last two weeks of July or the first week of August is a must.
Pruning increases your plant's ability to flower and in some cases bear fruit - which is just what you need in spring.
Read up on winter planting
Spring may be the time for blooming, but that doesn't mean nothing will grow in your garden in winter. Fill the empty patches in your garden with annuals and even some veggies that thrive during the colder months and you will be surprised by the difference it makes to your garden.
Try planting some of the following flowering seedlings for a pop of colour: English daisies, stocks, Iceland poppies, violas, pansies, foxgloves, snapdragons, sweet Williams and primulas.
These veggies will do well in winter if you plant them now: peas, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, tatsoi, lettuce and onions. Look for seedlings to give your homegrown veg a head start.
'We bring you the latest Garden Route, Hessequa, Karoo news'