7 Ways to Prepare Your Garden for Winter
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As autumn takes a hold, it’s important to spend some time preparing our gardens for winter. Depending on where you live, the winter months can be brutal, but if you prepare your garden well enough, everything will bounce back stronger and better in the spring. And after all, if you spent a lot of time and money on your garden throughout the year, then you’ll want to take good care of all your hard work.
Many ‘fair weather’ gardeners fail to prepare, but there is a lot that you can do to keep your garden healthy and while you can call landscaping contractors to come in and fix things up for you, there are plenty of other things that you can get on with yourself. Below, we’ve put together a list of things that you can do to give your garden the once-over this season. Let’s take a look!
- Clear the weeds. The first thing to do to make sure that your existing plants aren’t strangled through the winter is to clear all the weeds. It’s not the most fun job in the world, but it’s one that has to be done. The dead and diseased plants and leaves can be composted, either at home or through your local green waste collection.
- Make sure that you protect vulnerable plants. Cold weather can be deadly to perennials, and cloches can help to protect from bugs as much as they can frost. You don’t need to add these to veggie gardens, though, and if your flower beds are already established, you don’t have to add those, either. The beds that you’re trying to establish, however, will be better off with netting and protection.
- Start planting. You need to start planting your bulbs now if you want spring blooms. It’s not a part of the garden clean up, of course, but it’s a nice way to set up the garden space ready for the new season. If you plant the bulbs now, you’ll get them in before the ground hardens over; ready for a spring display.
- Water the plants, and then turn off the water. Give the plants a good drink, but before you retire the hose and the watering can for the season, switch off the water to the outside. You want to make sure that you don’t end up with a frozen water line, and this is the best way to do it. Burst pipes are no fun, so you can also wrap the pipes to protect them if you live in a very cold area.
- Jacket your trees. If you have trees in the garden, it’s time to add a jacket and keep the trees warm. Well, not really, but you do need to protect them from the harsh winds and the snow. A winter jacket will protect the bark, and you have to secure them so that they don’t blow away, too. You can use fabric, cardboard, actual winter fleeces for the outside of the house or any number of products.
- Don’t forget the tender plants. The tender plants that you have in your garden need to be considered, depending on your location. You might need to dig tender plants up then move them to a darker, cool location over the winter, before replanting them in spring. Or, it might be enough to wrap plants on cold evenings – old bubble wrap is good for this.
- Don’t forget the mulch. Autumn is the perfect time to add mulch to the ground, so that you can have organic matter going into the soil throughout the winter. You can dig it in lightly and then leave the worms and nature to do their work. In the spring you’ll have healthy soil, ready to plant in again!
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