Piles of brushwood or leaves and piles of felled wood offer insects, hedgehogs, shrews, lizards, weasels and many other animals a good hiding place. Toads and frogs often like to hide in a shallow hollow in the ground with a slab of stone laid over it. The animal should not be disturbed during the winter as this can be life-threatening for them.
In winter you have plenty of time to maintain your gardening equipment. Thoroughly clean your tools and free them of dirt and rust. Thoroughly check the stability of the handles. Replace defective handles now. Pay attention to the length of the tool, which should vary depending on height. Working with unsuitable garden tools not only makes it less fun but it can also damage your body. Also check to see whether you need new garden tools. Always choose high quality materials when you select new tools as this will prolong the enjoyment of working in the garden.
Now is a good time to think about the layout of your vegetable beds and mixed crops. Very few crops tolerate growing in the same area as the previous year. Pathogens from hard to combat diseases such as clubroot accumulate in the soil and infect vegetable crops the following year. To keep plants healthy it is important to maintain a good rotation system. Find out about new vegetable varieties that are resistant to disease in good time. You should be able to obtain some seeds from your specialist dealer now. You can find lots of ideas and tips for planning your garden in Neudorff‘s Garden Guide available from your local garden centre or download from here.
Now is a good time to sow the seeds of several varieties of vegetable in heated propagators or on the windowsill. Suitable vegetables are cauliflower, kohlrabi, red and white cabbage as well as lettuce. Make sure to use early varieties and only sow the seeds in a high quality, peat-free potting compost.
To chit potatoes, place them in shallow boxes at the end of February. The boxes should contain a layer of compost. Use seed potatoes as these are free of diseases so have all the right things needed for a successful crop.