Preparing Your Garden for Winter

by fse-admin - / 14.12.2021


The air is getting crisper, nights are growing longer and Christmas music can be heard from every shop, SO this can only mean one thing – autumn is ending and winter is fully on its way! Now is the time to review your garden’s progress this year, plan for next year, and make sure everything is protected in preparation for the winter rain, snow, and violently windy storms.

Start clearing up

Remove any diseased or invasive plants first – these are destined for your plant waste bin or your next bonfire as you don’t want to allow diseases (or volunteer seeds from the invasive weeds) to spread. Clear out any dead plant matter from your borders (destined for your compost bin) and rake leaves from your lawn to prevent it suffocating your grass. You should also sweep up any fallen leaves from paths and walkways and any pavers you regularly use should be power washed or scrubbed with soapy water and a stuff brush to remove plant matter as once it gets rainy and icy out, they can pose a serious slip risk.

If you do have a spare corner in your garden, you can be kind to the local wildlife and leave a pile of leaves out over winter for hedgehogs and other visitors. It is also a good time to organise your shed or greenhouse and to bring in any hoses or irrigation that may be at risk of ice damage.

Take a walk

Now is the perfect chance to check your fences for damage, wood rot or general wear, getting these repaired or replaced now as needed can save you much costlier works later down the line – for example fixing one panel today could prevent multiple from collapsing in a winter storm.

 

You should also pay close attention to your trees and shrubs; overgrowth, disease or damaged limbs can be a safety risk to your family as well as potentially damaging fences and roofs. If in any doubt it is always worth bringing in professionals to assess the situation and suggest appropriate actions – be it pruning (reducing the weight of the tree blanches to prevent storm damage), crown reduction (cutting back the canopy of the tree) or bracing (using cables or rods to stabilise tree limbs. If attempted without the appropriate training it is not only dangerous for you, but for the tree too.

Plan for the future

Top up veggie beds and border now to reintroduce nutrients used by plants throughout the year.

Plant spring bulbs to fill your garden with an explosion of colour next year, plant them in clusters to approximate natural growth, or mix and match for a surprise medley. Now is also the time to plant new trees or hedging, many of which enjoy the cold soil and moist air.

If in doubt about the correct placement or species of trees or hedging to use, professional gardeners or tree specialists offer free surveys to help make plans that will suit your tastes and your space for years to come.