16 Tips to PREPARE Your Garden for Winter, by Huw Richards

Jeremie Litzler
  • Permaculture
  • Gardening
  • Huw Richards
  • Winter
About 4 min

What can you do to prepare for the winter in your garden? Huw is giving us 16 tips of 30 seconds each.

Someone Collecting Leaves
Collecting leaves forms an important activity in the beginning of winter. Credits: image taken from Huw Richards’s vlog

Thanks to Huw Richards for sharing his wisdom and knowledge! I wrote the following notes watching the video published on Huw Richards’s channel. You can watch it using this YouTube linkopen in new window.

Plant garlic

Garlic growing in a bed
Garlic is an important crop you can grow. Plant it in winter if you’re in a climate where you don’t have severe winters. Credits: image taken from Huw Richard’s vlog

Huw always felt that planting garlic before Christmas in his UK climate worked best.

There are so many ways to enjoy garlic:

  • green garlic,
  • dried garlic

Move plants into your polytunnel

Broccoli flowering
The warmth of a polytunnel will protect your crops from the harshness of the winter. Credits: image taken from Huw Richard’s vlog

If you own one… 😉

It’s a far more favorable environment to grow your winter vegetables.

Clear your beds

Someone cutting some old plants
It’s the occasion to use the old plants to fill up your compost heap. Credits: image taken from Huw Richard’s vlog

Leave the roots in the grown.

Try to remove the weeds!

Pick up dead leaves

Someone racking leaves
Leaves are free and abundant at the end of autumn. Gather as much as you can. Credits: image taken from Huw Richard’s vlog

Personal note

I’m currently working on that, for the third year.

I already covered some parts of my garden with a thick and yet light duvet of dead leaves for the winter.

It serves at least two purposes:

  • keep the ground warmer and covered
  • help the soil life thrive even in winter

This year, I’m planning to gather a lot more than the previous year. At the time of this writing, I have gathered 6 meters cubes already.

Collect grass clippings

Mix of grass clippings and leaves
Credits: image taken from Huw Richard’s vlog

Huw suggests to use the leaves collected before and spread them on your lawn.

Then use your lawn mower to mix the leaves and grass clippings together to obtain a 50/50 mixture great to put on the compost heap.

Plant field beans (Vicia faba)

A bed of field beans
Field beans help protect the soil during winter and fix nitrogen. Credits: image taken from Huw Richard’s vlog

Huw lets them grow during the winter and cut them before they flower in the spring to create a green manure and cover crop.

Conduct a tool and seeds audit

Bags of seeds and labels
It’s about preparing for the new year to come. Credits: image taken from Huw Richard’s vlog

You want to work out what you have left in terms of seeds.

And check your tools:

  • Are they working?
  • Are they sharp and do they need sharpening?

When the Spring time comes, you will be ready to start your planting, seedlings and so forth.

Mulch your beds with seaweeds

Close up of some seaweed
If you are near a sea, of course! :) Credits: image taken from Huw Richard’s vlog

Seaweed is full of minerals.

Rain can wash the salt.

Mulch your beds with compost

Compost applied on a bed
It’s the ideal time to put compost on your beds. Credits: image taken from Huw Richard’s vlog

Continue planting (if you own a greenhouse or a polytunnel)

A thick bed of vegetables
Credits: image taken from Huw Richard’s vlog

Continue planting allows us to keep the soil full of life as the plants grow.

Don’t forget to water the indoor beds!

Green tomato Chutney

Many green tomatoes
Use green tomatoes in your cooking. Credits: image taken from Huw Richard’s vlog

What is it? See these recipes below that Huw and Sam:

Wash your polytunnel and greenhouse

An aerial view of a garden with beds and a polytunnel
You have time now so optimize the amount of light that goes in the indoor growing space. Credits: image taken from Huw Richard’s vlog

Why? It will let a lot more light in.

When? In November.

Propagate your plants

A blackcurrant stem
Propagation of your blackcurrant and gooseberry happen now. Credits: image taken from Huw Richard’s vlog

When you want to multiply your blackcurrants or other berry bushes,

  • Cut the stems that have grown tall at the bottom of the plant

    A stem being cut
    Credits: image taken from Huw Richard’s vlog

  • Plant them in a dedicated bed.

During winter, they will root and you will be able to transplant them where you want in the spring.

You can also do this in a pot to sell. This can be a source of money to buy seeds.

Personal note

I will do that with my gooseberry bush that has grown big and I want to get more of them next year.

Do something with the container full of compost

If you grow anything in containers, you can toss the used compost back into the compost heap and mix it well with the rest.

Conduct an infrastructure audit

An aerial view of a garden
What do you have? Are the beds in good conditions? Review your infrastructure. Credits: image taken from Huw Richard’s vlog

Review of the state of:

  • your beds
  • your watering system
  • your fence
  • your gates

Some things maybe need replacing or repairs. It’s the perfect time to do it because you’ve got the time!

Expand your growing area

It can be:

  • creating new beds
  • planting fruit trees