Creating a vibrant, immaculate garden takes great care and regular maintenance, so it would be an incredible shame for all of your hard work to be crushed due to the harsh impacts the colder months bring. Not only does the quick switch from warm to freezing weather have an impact on us, but also our gardens. Although it would be impossible to protect your plants, trees and lawn from Winter entirely, there are many handy precautions you can take to ensure that damage is kept at a minimum.
To get you started, we’ve devised a list of our top tips on how to maintain your garden throughout the upcoming Winter months.
Tips On How To Maintain Your Garden
The months leading up to Christmas and New Year is an exciting time for many, with a host of different celebrations and a perfect excuse to sit back and relax. If you are a keen gardener and love spending time in the outdoors, it’s often a little disheartening at the thought of your garden having to withstand the harsh drop in temperature we often experience. However, with early preparation and regular check-ups, we can guarantee that it will be an easy task to get your land back up to tip-top condition ready for Spring.
1. Clean Up
Spending a few hours out in your garden carrying out a thorough clean-up operation is vital for starting your Winter preparations. This can be completed once you begin to feel a drop in temperature, and unfortunately, the sun appears to have gone back into hibernation for good. Start by removing all dead plants, leaves and other foliage you may have accumulated over the months. If they have died from natural causes and not due to any disease, then foliage is perfect for adding to a compost pile that can be used in the following years. Rather than throwing away useful materials, instead opt for reusing them for natural fertiliser. Not only are you saving yourself money in the following year, but also doing a small part in helping the environment!
If there are any fallen, dead leaves on your lawn, you have two options. You can either add them to your compost pile or mow over them when mowing the lawn – this is great for adding extra nutrients to the grass.
Try to remove any signs of weeds from the root when cleaning up. Unfortunately, if left to grow, weeds can often start to decay over the Winter, spreading disease across your garden.
Lastly, if you are lucky enough to have a large tree planted in your garden, its time to trim any old branches that are coming to the end of its life. With age, trees often experience various health issues. If you notice any problems, it is highly recommended to call a professional tree surgeon Milton Keynes to assess the current health of your tree.
2. Prepare Perennials
Although perennials are known for lasting all year round, for many types of plants, it is only the greenery that is able to withstand the colder temperatures. Frost and heavy winds will negatively impact delicate bulbs, so must be adequately prepared for Spring, these are known as “tender bulbs”.
Carefully dig up and collect all tender bulbs as Autumn approaches. Try to use a digging fork over a shovel as these are more likely to damage both the structure underneath and the roots.
Next, wash the bulbs with water and ensure that all soil has been removed. These will then need to be dried out for at least three days then covered with insecticide and fungicide to keep them healthy.
To store the tender bulbs, it is recommended to bury them in a container filled with moss or sand. Do not opt for an airtight container and ensure that the bulbs receive plenty of air circulation; a cardboard box is perfect.
3. Apply Repellant
During the colder months, trees and shrubs become a hotspot for rodents to inhabit. Particularly mice will eat their way through tree trunks and shrub roots causing internal damage which with time, will result in rot. To avoid this issue, you may want to consider applying a rodent repellant around your plants, or alternatively, cover trunks with a weather resistant material.
4. Protect Plants
There are many different ways to protect your plants from harsh conditions; however, this is often only required if you experience heavy snow, frost or wind.
Potted plants are easy to protect, they can simply be moved undercover to a porch or into a shed. Ideally, their Winter location should be outside to ensure that they receive a sufficient amount of air and light.
Larger shrubs, trees or flowers are considerably trickier to cover due to their size. Luckily, almost every type of waterproof material can be utilised as garden protection. Flowerpots can be turned upside-down and placed over collections of flowers, tarpaulin or a large sheet of plastic can cover shrubs as long as they are weighed down around with edges with a brick or heavy object, and trees can be protected through fitted wooden posts surrounding with plastic stapled into place.
A handy top tip when covering plants is to ensure that you remove the covering regularly to release all trapped moisture.
5. Store Furniture, Tools and Accessories
Before putting all garden furniture and accessories into storage ensure that they are thoroughly cleaned. Keep a particular eye out for mould and mildew on chairs, cushions and tables as this will spread over other objects while in storage and cannot be used in the following year.
Although this may seem like a tedious job, try to organise your garage, shed or other storage option while packing furniture away. This will save you time in the future and objects will remain in pristine condition.
6. Avoid Salt
Salt is commonly spread over pathways and driveways during icy weather, which although this is highly recommended to avoid slipping, try to avoid spreading any onto your lawn or plants. Similarly to when we intake too must salt, we become dehydrated, this is the same with soil. The salt will absorb all of the water in the soil and will not reach the plants.
Start Your Winter Preparations Now!
Starting your preparations for the colder months in advance will help to maintain your gardens current state and keep it healthy. If you’re looking to revamp your garden ready for next year, why not enlist the help of expert landscape maintenance Milton Keynes?