Winter Garden Maintenance – What Gardeners Do

Last Updated on April 16, 2024 by Real Men Sow

What do gardeners do in winter? Contrary to popular belief, gardening doesn’t stop in the winter. It is true that many gardening tasks stop or become less important during this season, but it’s not because there’s anything to do with your garden. The fact is that there are several winter garden maintenance tasks you need to perform before the return of spring.

In fact, winter is a busy time for gardeners. Many summer problems are caused by people not stepping on the gas in winter. Let’s get rid of this myth by giving you a quick overview of what to do in winter.

Winter Garden Maintenance Activities

There is so much work to be done that needs to be done in the garden. You do not have to make winter an inactive season. On the contrary, you need to stay active and do all kinds of garden tasks in this season. Here are some winter garden maintenance tasks that if overlooked, might cause problems in the next season:


You can prune some trees, climbers, and shrubs in winter. For many, it’s best to prune when they are dormant. The key candidates include apples, pears and many roses. If you fail to prune in winter, you will be pruning for failure in the spring. Have you ever wondered why something doesn’t bloom or looks terrible? Now you know why.

Cutting Back 

Most herbaceous border plants are left standing until the leaves become brittle and torn by wind. Then trim them as the months go by. It is possible to cut it back in two places. It’s important that you do it at some time. This is done to keep pests and diseases from hiding in the stems and leaves.


Gardening is basically just cleaning the outside. A tidy garden is the best way to clean it up. Winter is a time when Mother Nature literally throws bags of leaves and other garbage over our fences.


This is the one that most people forget. This includes planting bulbs and bedding before the season begins. Winter is the best time to plant bare root vegetables like fruit trees, raspberry canes and hedges. This task takes a lot of time. It is much more affordable to buy bare roots than potted plants. 

Cleaning tools 

Winter is the best time to tidy up all your workspaces, tools, greenhouses, and other items. It takes more time to clean up all the tools you have. However, it’s essential that you do this as pots and spades, shoes, and glass panes can all harbor fungal, viral, and bacterial pests. To let the cold weather finish off any missing critters, complete my cleaning as soon as possible into winter.


Tend to weed in the same way throughout the year. However, some weeds such as Couch Grass can make a determined attempt to break through your borders and send runners all around. Winter is the best season to weed out perennial weeds and work through borders.


When plants are dormant, fences, climbing plant structures and walls, as well as plant supports and painted surfaces, are all easier to see. Problems are easily visible, which adds to the winter chaos. You should get out there in good weather to fix any problems before the spring madness.

Indoor gardening 

If your house homes more plants than most people outside, you’ll have to focus on indoor gardening too. While it is true that no one would do the same work as me, winter is the best time to focus on houseplants. Give them a good look, fix any problems, and think about repotting at the end of winter. 


In winter, it is true that there is less work outside. This is due to the reduced daylight hours and possible shorter working hours. There is still a lot of paperwork to be done inside. Professionals find winter to be the best time to do financial admin. Hobbyists and professionals alike will also benefit from winter to plan for the next gardening year.

You can plan in many ways. It could be as simple as taking notes on a piece of paper and a glass of red wine, or it could take the form of a complete planting plan and spreadsheet. These are important in any case, so you don’t forget them!

Order seeds and plants 

This is the perfect time to order your spring seeds and plants. You can set your garden year up for success by ordering now. Also, make sure you order the rarer plants that are not available elsewhere. We all enjoy a little shopping spree. 


Doing winter gardening maintenance is a meaningful and fun pastime. It’s necessary to ensure that everything will go well in spring and summer, which gives us the opportunity to enjoy summer activities. Gardeners who still live in doubt can try but are reluctant to experience the joy of gardening in winter.

Real Men Sow
Real Men Sow

Hello, I’m Pete and I’m currently based in the west of Scotland, in a small place called Rosneath, where I’m exploring my garden adventures. I personally started gardening around 6 years ago and initially, I started out by growing my favorite fruits and berries, such as strawberries, Raspberries & Gooseberries. Since then I’ve added a lot of vegetables and working closely with my neighbor, it’s been a lot of fun.