There’s no doubt that summer is officially over and winter is well on the way, and for those who take a personal pride in their beloved garden, there are a few precautions to take to ensure your garden is properly equipped for winter.
For the most part, preparing your garden for winter is mostly a case of cleaning up and covering up.
As autumn progresses and temperatures continue to drop, plants that aren’t killed quickly by the cold and frost prepare for dormancy during the winter months.
To begin, clear out any blackened stems and foliage from yearly flowers. This prevents the possibility of your garden harboring disease pathogens and insect eggs during the winter. The cool weather provides a great opportunity to make a cold frame, dig and box in raised beds, and make general repairs.
It may appear that all activity in the garden has stopped once temperatures drop, however there is still a lot going on under the soil until it completely freezes. For example, recently transplanted trees and shrubs and some bulbs will continue to grow roots, drawing on soil nutrients and moisture around them.
It is likely by this time of year that any organic mulch you spread to protect the soil during the summer months has mostly decomposed, so now is the time to spread a thicker layer of new mulch to protect plants during winter; this will help keep the temperature in the soil even.
Snow can be a double-edged sword when it comes to gardens, as it both protects and endangers plants.
For example, good snow cover across your garden insulates the soil like a mulch. However, snow piled on evergreen branches can weigh them down, potentially resulting in breakage.
To combat this, knock snow from the bottom branches first, then work upward; this way snow from above will not add weight to the already burdened lower branches. If branches are bowed by ice, don’t try to free them. Instead let the ice melt and release them gradually.
So there you have our key tips for readying your garden for winter, be sure to check back as winter approaches to remind yourself of our top tips and find more useful guides!