Winter is coming.
It’s hard to let go of Game of Thrones after all this time, but of course that’s not the purpose of our post today. Winter really is coming, the year seems to have disappeared into the blue without a trace and many of us are struggling to keep up. The garden is an important place to think about as the winter draws near because many of the plants we love will go dormant for a winter and get ready to brace for harsher weather conditions.
There are a lot of different things we can to do prepare for the winter season, and in the garden there are plenty of simple stages for us to undergo before the season comes calling. Today we are going to take a look at how you can prepare your garden for the colder season and ensure it stays looking fresh and tidy.
Clear Snow and Ice
Snow and ice is your garden’s worst enemy. Plants are extremely sensitive to temperature and it is important for us to protect them from the cold. When snow and ice start to fall in the garden and onto your plants, it is important for you to brush it off. You should also consider the heavy snowfall on the grass and the damage it will do, and even opting for synthetic turf Might be a great way to avoid this and have a wonderful lawn all year without mowing. Sand and bird seed can be spread on the ground to prevent slipping without damaging plants with harsh salt or deicer.
Clean your tools
Now that summer is over you likely won’t be breaking out the weed whacker until spring, and this means you have a great opportunity to clean up the garden tools and your shed. If you don’t clean your garden tools now and again they can be prone to rusting, so now that you won’t be using them for some time it is the ideal time to clean them and put them away. Remember to thoroughly dry tools once they are clean to avoid damp.
Bulbs are ideal for planting up until the end of October, and if you are hoping for an early bloom of tulips or daffodils in the spring, you should plant them now and let them develop over the winter. When planting a bulb the general rule is to dig a hole that is three times as large as the bulb, and ensure that the soil around the bulb is rich and moist. This will ensure that the bulbs are protected from surface level frost over winter and that they have plenty of space to grow and thrive when summer comes along.
Pruning is something that has to be done in the garden to ensure that all plants are healthy and happy. It is important for you to prune plants at least a few weeks before the first frost to give them chance to strengthen and go into hibernation. Think about pruning plants such as Hydrangea and Buddleia now before winter comes to ensure a healthy and thriving plant next year.
Take stock of the garden
One great thing to do in your garden now that the summer is over is to draw a sketch of the garden roughly and write down what is growing where. Planning the garden can be a task and when lots of plants are coming and going it can become confusing. Write down what grows every month of the year and where, and this will allow you to start planning what to do with the space before the coming spring.
Seeds of course are sprouted in the spring, but if you have chosen an annual seed to spread in the garden you may want to replace the supply next year. This is why now is a good time to invest in some fibre seedling pots and test any seeds you have left from the spring to see if you want to reorder them next year. Planning ahead like this will make life much easier in the spring.
Feed the birds
Part of the beauty of a garden is having wildlife enjoying the space. If you want to enjoy birds in your garden over the next year, it is a good idea to look after them now as the cold season draws in. A helping hand to wildlife will provide you with a myriad of animals as the months go on so it is worth investing now. Spread out seeds and nuts, create fat blocks by chilling leftover bacon and sausage grease, and make sure that they have a water supply.
As your late summer blooms finally start to die down, it is the ideal time for you to clear out your flowerbeds and spread new compost in the space. If you have a compost bin in the garden you will have likely accumulated quite a supply of soil over the summer, and once you have removed dead foliage and weeds it is the perfect time to spread some new soil on the ground. This will provide such rich nutrients to the ground that in the spring and summer next year you will gain strong and stunning displays.
Grow cold loving plants
Cold frames can be used at the time of the year to help you grow hardy plants without subjecting them directly to snow. Many cabbage and lettuce species are happy growing in the winter, so you can enjoy bringing these to life in the garden even in the depths of December!
Keep it tidy
The most important thing you can do in the winter for your garden is keep it clean and tidy. It is all too easy to let the outdoor space grow wild in the summer, but now is the time to go back to basics and clear the space ready for a fresh start next year. Get weeding, pruning, mowing and clearing to ensure a tidy and clean garden for the winter.