There’s no denying it now that school is back – winter is coming. While it’s not the case that the white walkers and Night King are on the way, winter is still going to make its annual appearance and every avid gardener should be armed and ready. Gardens, contrary to popular belief, aren’t just for the spring and summer. It may be wonderful to see the sunflowers climbing the trellis and the birds frolicking in the bird bath, but your garden still needs more care than what you offer it for a few months of the year. It’s not just about getting it ready for the barbecue season and buying in the latest garden furniture in the hope you can catch a few rays a few feet from the house. Your garden needs care year-round, and if you aren’t ready for winter then you can’t possibly hope to have your garden looking beautiful for spring again.
Autumn is one of the busiest times in the garden. The crops, if any, have been harvested by now and the bright colours of the summer foliage have started to brown. These signs do not signify time to sit back and relax; if anything, the work is just beginning. You must start clearing away the decaying leaves and flowers, preparing the lawn and grass for the cold weather and clearing away the debris from the falling leaves. Most people give their lawn one last go with the mower over October and November, given the weather doesn’t tend to hold out to mow it more than that. If you take the time to prep your garden properly with the right tools from companies such as https://planopower.com, you can ensure that your garden is in the best shape it can be for when the warmer months roll back around. Harsh weather is tough on your delicate garden, which is why these tips for garden preparation are crucial to keep it as healthy as possible. We’ve put together some clever ways to ensure your outdoor space stays preserved so that by springtime, you’ll have a space ready to use again.
Clearing up the paths and any paving in the front and back garden is likely going to be your first job. The winter months bring rain, snow and heavy winds which can displace mud and gravel into your pathway. Autumn means the trees will start shedding their leaves, and this requires you to start clear up. Don’t wait until the leaves on your nearby trees have totally shed before starting your clear up, or you’ll end up with an awful lot of leaves to wade through in the meantime! Doing it all while it’s still crisp outside is also going to be a far easier clean up. Wet leaves tend to leave the ground stained and mulchy, so don’t wait for the rains to come. If you have a driveway or paving, grab your outdoor brush and a bucket of soapy water to give the concrete a proper clean. Doing this before the frost comes can make a difference to how slippery your path is. Alternatively, those of you out there with pressure washers like these should utilise them while you can!
Your garden – both front and back – are likely to have bordered plants and flowers. Cutting back these borders, especially the herbaceous perennials will help to tidy these up. Getting rid of the annuals that have long since finished blooming is also going to help your soil to breathe. Empty the compost bins and get that mulch spread all over the fresh soil. This will help to get the borders and the ground ready for the spring. You tidied up the paths and driveway, and now you need to clear up the border area and clear it of any leaves and summer debris that doesn’t need to be there. Laying the compost on the border soil will help it to look lovely once spring rolls around again. Getting rid of the weeds can really help, as can filling up your compost bins.
If you are lucky enough to have a pond or small fountain in your garden, then you need to prevent these from being clogged up with leaves and other debris. You can buy garden netting like this to temporarily cover over the area. Ideally your ponds and fountains should be cleared out every year, but if you haven’t done this then you’ll find them starting to look rather murky. The best time to get them cleared is – thankfully – late autumn. All the creatures and bugs are starting to go away at this point in the year so it’s the best time to give it all a dredge and clean. If you have a pond that has fish living in it, you need to be really careful that the surface of the water doesn’t freeze over. You can get a ball to float on the water (see here!) to stop it from freezing entirely!
No one wants to go out in the freezing cold to mow the lawn. If you go over the entirety of your lawn, both front and back with a rake, you can remove any piles of moss or thatch to keep it healthy over the winter months. You also need to use a good lawn feed with a moss killer and get it spread through the grass to give your grass time to grow healthily. A lawn needs more than just sunshine and rain, so you need to spend some time looking into what will keep your lawn healthy over the winter months. Read here about why you need to use a good lawn feed. It may not need as much mowing, but you can still care for your garden.
Winter brings snow for most places, and it really cannot be expressed enough how much snow can have an impact on your garden – especially heavy periods! Ice can be so damaging to the foliage in your garden, and so you need to keep an eye on the snow on the leaves and branches of your trees and bushes. Each day of snow, use a trowel or even a gloved hand to knock off as much snow from branches and leaves as you can reach. This may sound simple, but even something as simple as this can prevent severe damage to the leaves.
Winter may mean less colour in your garden, but it doesn’t mean less interesting! A winter garden can be just as exciting as a summer one, with evergreen shrubs and holly bushes and berries coming into bloom. If you haven’t heard of it, then you’ll love this ‘Midwinter Fire’ that can bring some light to a gloomy outdoor space. You could also add something interesting to your garden by adding potted mini Christmas trees like these, that you could decorate with solar fairy lights and other decorations to brighten up the garden through the winter.
You know those bulbs you bought in the summer sales? It’s time to plant them now ready for bloom in the springtime. If you do this before the winter kicks in, you have a better chance of them blooming on time. Snowdrops and daffodils often like to bloom early and ensuring that you have these planted early gives them the time they need. Dig in a lot of sharp sand for a slow release of the feed that the bulbs need over time. Space the bulbs well and make sure you bury them at least twice the depth of the bulb. There’s nothing prettier than watching a garden come into bloom, and you can make that happen with clever planting. In the meantime, plant the evergreen bushes we mentioned earlier so you have some greenery in the garden while you wait.
Your garden requires a lot of maintenance, from the ground to the branches from overhanging trees. If you are careful about your planning then you can ensure the winter doesn’t affect your garden in a big way. A garden can flourish in the colder months if it is allowed to and it will take some careful looking after to ensure that it will grow correctly. Keep the garden equipment that you won’t use right at the back of the shed, and cover it all in tarpaulin so that you can minimise any water damage from leaking shed roofs. Wash down all the equipment you have, including the shears and garden forks, so that you can keep them clean over the winter period. Don’t just put them away wet, though, as garden equipment can and will rust in the right environment. All you have to do next is wait for the spring time to come around and see those birds bathing in the stone tub you’ve provided and the daffodils poke their heads over the soil. A winter garden can be beautiful as long as you ensure it is!