Preparing Your Garden For The Winter Season
Autumn can be an incredibly busy time for gardeners, as there are many jobs to take care of at this time of year in preparation of the coming winter months.
Replenish Your Lawn
Lawns tend to look their worst at this time of year, particularly if they have seen a lot of action over the spring and summer months. Thankfully, they can be revitalised with relative ease at this time of year with a little TLC.
Your course of action will depend on the issue at hand, however a safe bet is to take steps to improve drainage by pushing a garden fork deep into the soil, 20 cm apart over the entire surface of the lawn before applying a good quality feed.
Organise Your Compost Area
You can never have too much compost in a garden and it is so easy to generate your own, using scraps of vegetation from the kitchens and general garden waste, such as leaf mulch, grass clippings and waste from your beds and vegetable patch.
If last year’s compost is now ready, you can put it to great use now as you prepare the ground for new winter crops and tidy up your beds and borders. This will create plenty of space for composting new waste materials. If it is not quite ready, now would be a great time to create an additional compost area to get started on whilst you wait!
For small scale composting you may prefer to purchase a composting bin, (or two) online, but in a larger garden it is often best to create your own with some basic materials in a suitable spot.
Tidying Your Borders & Beds
The vibrant colours you have enjoyed over the summer months may be fading but you can breathe new life into them with some attractive winter bedding plants now, so that by springtime you will once again have an array of colour to enjoy. Remove any spent annuals and replace them with plants like daisies, wallflowers and pansies.
Trim back any scruffy looking perennials, splitting any that are looking overcrowded. Last but not least, once it is all looking ship shape, top up with some fresh compost or bark and this task is complete!
Planting New Shrubs
Evergreen shrubs provide the garden with character and interest throughout the seasons and many have the added benefit of fragrant winter flowers. Autumn is the ideal time of year to get new shrubs in the ground, allowing them plenty of time to put down their roots and get established, ready for the coming year.
Plant closely together to form hedges and create private areas, or use them to fill unsightly gaps in your beds and borders. Choose shrubs like Camellias or bay for their durability and attractive foliage.
Protect Tender Species In Anticipation Of The First Frosts
There are many plants; including tree ferns and palms, that are susceptible to excessively cold temperatures and frosts. Potted plants can be moved to sheltered areas or brought into a greenhouse to avoid loss or damage, over winter.
Alternatively you could protect plants by pruning them back and mulching them, or use horticultural fleece , purchased on a roll or in convenient ‘jackets’ as an efficient way to prepare more delicate species and protect them from harsh extremes.
Do You Require The Services Of A Professional Gardener?
If you are away for long periods or you require professional assistance to maintain your garden regularly, you can find out more about hiring a professional gardener here.