Winter is approaching which could spell disaster for your garden. If you’re not particularly green thumbed, you might not be too bothered about your shrubbery and probably welcome the break from mowing your lawn, but if you’ve put a lot of time and effort into your outdoor space, you’re more than likely keen to preserve your work.
Here are a few ways you can limit the damage winter causes to your garden.
Insulate Your Pots
If you have potted plants in your garden, you will need to protect them from the frost. To do this, wrap up your pots in a layer of insulation, whether it’s a woolly lining or bubble wrap. Not only with this stop the frost killing off the roots of your shrubs, it will also prevent your pots from cracking, too.
Check Your Lawn
As Autumn winds down, you might notice areas of yellow or dead grass. The likely cause? Lawn grubs. As chafer grubs grow and mature, they eat through the roots of the grass and eventually kill it off. If you are noticing areas of compromised grass – or an influx of birds and other wildlife on your lawn – you probably have an infestation of grubs. If it isn’t treated quickly, your grass will struggle to recover over winter, so it’s best to check your turf and treat it if necessary before the cold weather arrives.
If your lawn is free of grubs, you should leave it be. Your lawn should be at a mid-length during winter. If you cut it too short, it may struggle to survive in the cold weather, but if you leave it to get too long, the grass will become brittle.
Composting is good practice all year round, but especially in winter when nutrients in your soil may be lacking. You can make use of fallen leaves by adding them to your compost bag along with your food waste and things like hay. Composting in winter is harder than in summer because it’s slower, so will you need to give extra attention to moisture levels and chop up your waste into smaller chunks to give it a helping hand. When you have your compost, spread a thick layer on your garden a few inches thick to keep your soil rich in nutrients.
Feed the Wildlife
Every garden benefits from wildlife (although, as established, not lawn grubs). For this reason, it’s important to maintain the ecosystem in your garden by feeding the animals who may need a helping hand, such as birds. Keep filling up your bird feeders and providing access to water, and keep an eye out for hedgehogs and other garden dwellers if you’re planning to have a winter bonfire.
If you have delicate plants and branches in your garden, make sure to knock the snow off. If you don’t the snow will block sunlight and kill the plants, but it will also weigh heavy and could cause the plants or branches to snap and break. It’s worth removing the snow every morning after it’s landed to give your plants the best chance.
Your garden is more than your plants and your lawn, so every aspect needs to be taken care of, and this includes furniture. Clean off your furniture before the harsh weather sets in and store it in a shed if possible. If not, covering the furniture with a tarpaulin or another type of cover will create a barrier between your outdoor dining set and the winter elements. However you choose to store your furniture, we’d always recommend removing any soft furnishings or seating pads and bringing them indoors to prevent the damp taking hold, or indeed small mammals taking residence in the warm cushions.
There will naturally be fatalities within your garden as harsh frosts and bitter weather takes hold, but with a little bit of preparation and proactive thinking, you can minimise the damage and keep your garden looking inviting and pretty throughout winter.