Cutting back and pruning over winter: the dos and don’ts

The great British winter can bring harsh weather conditions and plummeting temperatures. As the days get shorter, the last thing many of us want to do is head outside for a spot of gardening. With just a touch of maintenance work over winter however, you can set your garden up for the brighter, warmer, busier seasons ahead and ultimately enjoy a stunning outdoor space that you can be proud of!

Cutting back and pruning are two gardening tasks that are well worth adding to your winter to-do list. Here at Gap Garden Products, we provide the supplies you need to keep your garden looking great all year round. Today our experts are here to share their top tips for pruning and cutting back over the winter months.

Do realise the benefits of winter pruning

There are several advantages to getting green-fingered and pruning your garden this winter. If done correctly, winter pruning and cutting back paves the way for bigger and better harvests, and more impressive spring, summer and autumn displays.

Pruning also helps to keep your plants healthier, with diseases (such as oak wilt) easier to manage thanks to winter pruning. Cutting back foliage during the colder months is a matter of safety too. Weak and broken branches that can so easily break off during harsher winter weather can be removed before they do any damage.

Don’t neglect that veggie patch

As many vegetables and fruits don’t produce a harvest during winter, it can be all too easy to let your veggie patch maintenance slip. Many plants, especially autumn and summer fruiting varieties, have to be pruned or completely cut back to the ground to prepare them for the harvest ahead.

Apple trees for example have to be pruned in winter to promote new fruiting spurs. Whilst autumn-fruiting raspberries need to be cut back to the ground, then fed and mulched in spring to produce fruit the following autumn.

Winter is a great time to continue your tree training too, whether you’re aiming to train your trees in espalier, cordon or fan formations.

Do trim plants old and new

Your pruning project may leave you focusing on established plants, but newly planted shrubs and bushes need pruning just as much. Some newly planted varieties have to be cut back to just a few buds to encourage successful rooting.

Don’t delay shaping until the summer

Unbeknown to most, winter is the ideal time to start shaping overgrown or irregular deciduous shrubs. Cutting away dead, dying and diseased branches is another must during winter, and will ensure maximum disease control and promote healthier growth in the coming months.

Find everything you need for a beautiful outdoor space right here at Gap Garden Products. Looking for a late Christmas gift? You can browse our garden gift shop for plenty of inspiration for your green-fingered friend or family member.