How to Prepare My Garden for Winter
Although winter may not be enticing for the majority of us, it is incredibly important for the Earth’s climate system. Winter helps to regulate the Earth’s surface temperature and believe it or not, snow is particularly good for the environment. When snow melts, the water replenishes rivers, reservoirs and seeps into the ground – this enriches the soil below and hydrates the long stretches of green pastures that we so love in the summer. The same goes for your back garden, so let’s work together to embrace winter by doing a little preparation to ensure your garden flourishes nicely when spring comes around.
How to help your garden in winter:
- Remove dead plants and shrubbery
Dead plants become hosts for disease, fungus, mildew and pests. Dig up their old roots and place in your compost or garden bin. If you do not have a compost, bury old plants in your garden, they help to make a rich mulch.
- Tidy pathways and paving slabs
Sweep up debris and crisp leaves – it will be much easier sweeping it up now than trying to sweep it up when the leaves are wet and rotting. It’s also worth using a pressure washer on your paving slabs to remove the start of any moss or algae buildup. This is a much easier way to clean your paving slabs, as manual scrubbing with a hard wire brush can take time and a lot of effort.
- Maintain your lawn’s borders
Trim the border of your lawn and cut back perennials, removing weeds as you go. Clear and crisp edges will prevent mould and keep your garden looking in tip-top shape.
- Prune shrubs and trees
Give your hedges a quick prune before the frost sets in and remove any wayward branches that might be standing out from the shrub’s overall structure, and any dead leaves as you spot them.
To liven up your garden, you could lay colourful bark underneath. In turn, it will protect your soil by retaining good moisture levels and will suppress weed growth.
- Repair outdoor structures
Whether you have a broken fence panel or work needs doing on your shed or summerhouse, now is the time to make these repairs before the timbers begin to decay or worsen. Not to mention, a summerhouse or shed with defects can make the perfect home for pests in winter – so keep an eye out and replace panels or fixtures before you’re dealing with an infestation.
- Bring potted plants into a greenhouse
Not all plants are well-suited to cold temperatures, so if you have Cannas or Agapanthus, pop them in your greenhouse, conservatory or inside on the kitchen windowsill. If you have palm trees, place a thick layer of bark around its base and lay a horticultural fleece around it.
Plant pots aren’t as insulating as the earth, and therefore, small potted plants become victims of freezing – which means they stand little chance of surviving the winter frost. If you are unable to bring large potted plants indoors, you can wrap the pot with bubble wrap and cover the plant with a sheet and use laundry pegs to fasten, simply remove in the day so it can still get some light.
- Clean ponds and water features
Prevent your pond or water feature from being clogged up with dead leaves and debris and cover with a net. If you have fish in your pond, place a light ball on the surface so that’ll float on top of the water and prevent it from freezing over.
- Clear your lawn
Rake the whole of your lawn to remove leaves and moss.
- Shake the snow off trees and plants
If heavy snow has settled in your garden it’s a good idea to shake it free, otherwise the added weight could damage the branches/foliage.
- Harvest and revive your compost
Compost slows down over winter, so now is the ideal time to use this rich material to nourish your landscape so that it’s ready for spring. Don’t ignore your compost, it can help to top up flower beds and replenish nutrient-deficient soil. It’s always good to clean out your compost each year to ensure you’re making the most of it and that way, you’ll always be working with a fresh batch.
If you require help or assistance with your landscape, speak to the professionals here at R&J Landscapes. We provide every aspect of landscaping and paving work, and have a skilled, knowledgeable team always on hand to ensure your dream garden can become a reality. For more information or to schedule in a fast and reliable service, call today for a free, no-obligation site survey. We operate throughout Harrow, Aylesbury, Berkhamsted, St Albans, Watford and the surrounding areas.