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The Dead of Winter

Posted in Garden Advice on July 15, 2019

What to do in the Garden in Winter 

Winter is a time of the year that pests and diseases in the home and garden are less often a problem. In many parts of New Zealand, it is too cold for insects to be active. Deciduous plants become dormant and even evergreens slow down. Rodents, which tend to be a major pest in autumn and winter, begin to reduce in number as winter progressively kills them off due to cold and reduction of available food. Winter will kill off many insects and slow the progression of the disease.

However, in this ‘dead of winter,’ there is still life preparing to spring into action as soon as the weather begins to warm. Some insects can hibernate, slowing their metabolism through the cold periods. Many insect pests will have laid eggs in bark and buds or in the soil. Disease spores will also be lingering in and around your plants. These pests and diseases are evolved to survive the cold of winter and to burst into new life as soon as the triggers of warmth and longer day length return.

You can use this time to your, and your garden’s advantage. Here are some tips to help you clean up your home and garden in winter to reduce the risk of problems in spring:

This effort in winter will mean that you can spend more time doing the creative planting, encouraging and enjoyment of your home and garden in spring and summer.

David Brittain

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