28 Nov Autumn Guide for Preparing Your Garden for Winter
Another year is almost over and the time to finish up on your final gardening chores has nearly run out. To help make sure that you get all the crucial jobs done before the coldest season kicks off in earnest, here are some gardening tips for winter. With the help of these winter gardening guidelines, you can make life easier for yourself when spring returns.
General Gardening Cleaning
Throughout the warmer months when you are out and about enjoying your garden, it is easy for clutter to build up. The best time to get things shipshape again is in the autumn, so be prepared to do some serious cleaning and tidying during this season.
The disorder can spread to many areas, from the garden path to the greenhouse. You should collect and stack any unused pots, removing soil and other detritus so that they are neat and ready to be used once the last frost has retreated. Make use of plant-friendly cleaning solutions to kill off the bugs and bacteria which might lurk on any empty containers and implements.
Maintaining & Storing Clothing
The clothes you wear to tend your garden are generally not expected to stay in the best condition. If you leave them caked in mud and dumped in some cold corner of the shed all winter, they will succumb to wear and tear much faster.
Because of this, it’s important to wash and dry gardening clothes just as you would any other laundry, then store them in your home so that they are fresh and inviting when spring rolls around.
Similar care needs to be taken with your gardening gloves. If they are machine washable, then toss them in with your clothing. If they are not, use a damp cloth to clear off any dirt and grime which has accumulated over time and make them look as presentable as possible. Gloves do not need to be kept inside necessarily, but it is a good idea to keep them in an airtight container to prevent mould forming. Finally, never put them away if they are still wet.
Addressing Your Lawn
Your lawn goes through a lot in the winter months, meaning it is important to prep it as thoroughly as possible to ensure that the grass has the best chance of flourishing in the future.
After the last mow of the season, go over the lawn with a rake to collect all the cuttings and also pull out any weeds and moss which may be forming. All this can be composted along with other cutting. If things look especially bad, now is a good time to apply some lawn feed with weed killer included.
Another of the important lawn-related winter gardening tips is to aerate the soil using a garden fork. Ram the prongs home every 8-12 centimetres, focusing on the edges where this will also help to drain away the rain and meltwater that might otherwise build up.
If you decide to replace the turf or add any new areas of lawn to your garden, it is also sensible to get this done in the autumn. Do not leave this to the last minute as you might cause the young grass to die off before it can get a foothold; when you prepare the garden for winter it pays to be proactive.
Completing Compost Chores
Most serious gardeners create their own compost, as well as using shop-bought products as a top up when necessary. To prepare your garden for winter it is a good idea to empty out any of the remaining compost from your bins which has been lurking around since the year before and apply this to appropriate beds, borders and pots.
With all that space freed up, you should have plenty of room to deposit all of the compostable waste that is generated by your winter garden preparations. Of course you need to make sure that any compost you
Organising Your Borders
Borders run rampant with growth throughout the spring and summer, so to put your garden to bed for the winter you should take the time to tackle any problem areas and get everything looking spick and span.
Cut back the perennials that could do with a bit of a pruning, remove any annually flowering plants that have had their time in the sun and will not be back next year, do as much weeding as you can and then add some of the compost we discussed earlier.
At this point there is no need to go all-out with your application of compost; popping it on top of the border soil is usually enough as the weather and wildlife will do the rest.
Dealing With Drainage
The autumnal leaves look great on the trees, but as soon as they take a tumble they become a nuisance. Real problems can occur if they clog up the various systems that are in place around your home to tackle rainwater.
It is definitely a messy, physical task to deal with autumn leaf build-up. However, you should certainly tackle this in a timely fashion, as blockages can lead to leaks, water damage and further costs if not addressed.
Remove leaves from your gutters, drain covers and downpipes once the deciduous trees have ceased shedding their annual load of brightly coloured foliage. Get the help of a professional if this task is too daunting or dangerous, as working at height carries its own risks.
Protecting Your Garden Structures
The materials used to make your shed, fences and decking will determine just how resilient they will be in the face of the harsher climatic conditions that arrive each winter. Wood can warp and rot if not properly treated, felted roofs can leak if the surface has suffered damage and even metal elements can cause problems if rust develops unchecked.
There are plenty of products on the market designed to preserve wood which is going to remain outdoors all winter; just make sure you apply it during dry weather so that it can do its job and not get washed away.
Shielding Outdoor Furniture
The same systematic approach to outdoor furniture is helpful, especially if it is wooden. Cleaning it and protecting it with a product which seals it from moisture will make sure that it is just as eye-catching and sturdy when BBQ season returns.
Even if your garden furniture is plastic it needs to be wiped clean and stored appropriately. If there is no room in your shed or undercover, invest in a heavy-duty plastic tarpaulin to keep out the worst of the weather and make sure that this is fixed in place, either by tying it or weighing it down.
These winter gardening tips do not leave much room for procrastination so wrap up warm and get out there while you have the chance!
From addressing your lawn to protecting your garden structures we hope you can take away some valuable points from our preparing for winter guide. We understand Winter can often be a cruel mistress. But with the above steps in place, we can assure you, your garden will stay protected & will be able to endure the cold Winter months. If you a gardening expert, or just love to work in your garden, we would love to hear from you! Send in your preparation tips and we will add them to your article.