What to do or not to do in the garden in winter?

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Gérard BOURGES tells us about the garden in winter. What can we do there? When can we intervene? What can we plant? What interview? What can be cut?

In winter, gardening activities take a break, or almost! Everything lives slowly, the gardener, with a few outings from time to time to harvest some vegetables and take advantage of the sun’s rays when they are there, but also the soil.

But when you freeze, nothing happens and you don’t touch anything; neither for the plants nor for the soil. It is all the more important to respect this when several days with negative temperatures follow each other.

Side of vegetable garden

Semis et plantations

In many regions, gardeners no longer sow in this season: the soil is cold and wet, two conditions that are unfavorable for seed germination.

However, some sowing and planting can be done for those who garden in a mild climate: garlic, shallots, beans, peas…

Surface cleaning and composting

We don’t plant anymore but we can take care of what is still in place: for example, we remove plants that are at the end of their vegetation and are damaged, such as dahlias, or remove the damaged leaves of certain vegetables. Removed green waste can remain on site: it is removed and left in compost on the ground, to which dry dead leaves can be added to make a balanced surface compost composed of brown/dry organic matter and green/fresh organic matter .


Whether it is mulch or surface compost, the placement of a cover organic on bare soil helps to feed. In winter, underground life continues. The proof is that in the spring, the leaves that fell to the ground in the autumn disappeared, “digested” by the soil.

Side of the garden


Winter is the good season to plant trees and shrubs, especially those with bare roots, but also those in containers (everyone knows the saying “In Santa Katarina, all wood takes root!”); take advantage of it! ), excluding the frost period Of course. During this period, the roots have plenty of time to make their way through the soil without the tree having to suffer the evaporation of the leaves.

You can plant ornamental trees or shrubs and, of course, fruit trees: apple trees, pear trees, berries…


At the end of autumn, a great deal of pruning can be done, always outside of periods of major frost. This is particularly the time to care for stone trees (early winter is the preferred time compared to spring, when more attention is paid to seed trees).

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