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Tagged with 'winter'

Treecycle: How to compost your Christmas tree in 5 easy steps

Treecycle-compost-Christmas-tree

Treecycle: How to compost your Christmas tree in 5 easy steps


As the festive season comes to an end, it's time to bid farewell to your beloved Christmas tree. But instead of tossing it out with the rubbish, why not give it a new purpose by composting it? Not only is it an eco-friendly way to dispose of your tree, but it also provides valuable nutrients for your garden. In this blog post, we'll guide you through the easy process of treecycling – turning your xmas tree into nutrient-rich compost in just 5 simple steps. Say goodbye to waste and hello to a greener planet with our guide on how to compost your Christmas tree.


Can I compost a Xmas tree?

Christmas trees make an excellent base for compost. For best results remove needles as these can slow down the decompostion.

Can you put a Christmas tree In the garden waste bin?

A shredded xmas tree can easily go into your compost, however, without this prep work it could take years to compost. 

Can I burn an Xmas tree?

NO. A fresh tree will be holding a fair amount of water unless you have neglected it and let it brown whilst decorating for Christmas. If put in the fire the sap can combust and spit out causing a hazard. The oils can flame up chimneys as well as furniture. Creosote is also a highly flammable and corrosive substance created from the gasses from wet wood. Recycle your trees, compost your trees. 

 


1) Understanding the Importance of Composting Your Christmas Tree

As the festive season draws to a close, many of us are left with a beautiful Christmas tree that has brought joy and festive cheer to our homes. However, instead of simply getting rid of it, why not recycle it through composting? Composting your Christmas tree is not only an environmentally friendly way to dispose of it, but it also provides valuable nutrients for your garden. By turning your tree into nutrient-rich compost, you can give it a new purpose and contribute to a greener planet. In this section, we'll explore the importance of composting your Christmas tree and how it benefits both the environment and your garden. So, let's begin our treecycling journey!

 

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2) Preparing Your Christmas Tree for Composting

Before you begin the treecycling process, it's important to properly prepare your Christmas tree for composting. Start by removing all ornaments, tinsel, and lights from the tree. Make sure to also remove any tree stands or metal hooks. Next, use a saw or an axe to cut the tree into smaller pieces. This will help speed up the decomposition process. If your tree is heavily flocked or has artificial snow, it's best to skip composting as these chemicals can be harmful to your plants. By taking these simple steps, you'll be ready to transform your holiday tree into nutrient-rich compost and give it a second life.


3) The Step-by-step Guide to Composting Your Christmas Tree

Once you've properly prepared your Christmas tree, it's time to dive into the step-by-step process of composting. First, find a suitable location in your garden to set up your composting area. Next, create a base layer of brown materials, such as dried leaves or twigs, to help with airflow and drainage. Then, add a layer of green materials, such as the chopped-up pieces of your tree, to provide nitrogen-rich ingredients. Alternate between layers of brown and green materials until your compost heap is about three feet tall. Make sure to water your compost regularly and turn it every few weeks to promote decomposition. With a little patience and care, you'll have nutrient-rich compost ready to use in your garden come next holiday season.

 

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4) Top Tips for Successful Composting

Now that you're ready to compost your Christmas tree, here are some top tips to ensure successful results. First and foremost, remember to recycle as much as possible. Not only are you diverting waste from landfills, but you're also contributing to the health of your garden. Secondly, ensure that your compost heap has the right balance of brown and green materials. This will provide the necessary nutrients for decomposition. Additionally, regularly water and turn your compost to promote airflow and speed up the process. Lastly, be patient – composting takes time, so allow several months for your tree to fully break down into nutrient-rich compost. Happy composting!


5) The Many Uses of Your Tree Compost

As the leaves begin to fall and create a colourful carpet in our gardens, it's important to recognise that these fallen leaves can actually become a wildlife paradise. Autumn leaves provide an abundance of resources for a variety of creatures, making this season an excellent time to embrace the beauty of nature and create a haven for wildlife in your garden.
Firstly, fallen leaves offer shelter for insects and small mammals. They create the perfect hiding spots and provide protection from predators and harsh weather conditions. By leaving certain areas of your garden untouched, you can create safe havens for creatures like beetles, spiders, and hedgehogs.
In addition to providing shelter, autumn leaves also serve as a valuable food source. Many insects and other invertebrates rely on leaf litter for sustenance. As the leaves break down, they release essential nutrients into the soil, supporting the growth of microorganisms and providing a feast for earthworms, beetles, and other decomposers.
If you want to take it a step further, consider creating leaf piles in your garden. These leaf piles not only provide additional shelter, but they also become hotspots for foraging birds and small mammals. By piling up leaves in a designated area, you can create a buffet for hungry creatures, while adding an element of natural beauty to your garden.


Top Wildlife Gardening Jobs for November and December

top-wildlife-gardening-jobs-november-december

Top Wildlife Gardening Jobs for November and December


Welcome to November, fellow wildlife gardeners! As the leaves begin to fall and the temperatures start to drop, it's time to turn our attention to some important tasks in the garden. November is a crucial month for wildlife, as they prepare for the colder months ahead. So, it's the perfect time for us to lend a helping hand and ensure that our gardens continue to be a haven for all creatures big and small. In this blog post, we'll be sharing the top wildlife gardening jobs for November, so you can make the most out of this season and keep your garden thriving with wildlife.


What should I be doing in my garden in November?

  • Sowing and planting. Bulbs such as tulips, daffodils and crocuses are coming to the end now of planting season.
  • Tidy your garden

What can I plant in November?

Bare-root fruit trees, dormant when planted begin to grow in spring with the temperature increase.

Apple, cherry, pear and plum trees can be planted along with blackcurrant, raspberry and gooseberry. 

10 ways to help wildlife in autumn

  • Plant trees
  • Put your Halloween pumpkin to good use
  • Provide birds clean nesting boxes
  • Help hedgehogs for hibernation 
  • Create a bug hotel
  • Keep bird baths and feeders topped up

Understanding the Importance of Wildlife Gardening in November

November is a critical month for wildlife gardening. As the weather gets colder and the leaves fall, it's essential to understand the importance of wildlife gardening during this time. Many animals and insects rely on our gardens for shelter, food, and a safe haven. By taking on certain tasks, we can ensure that our gardens continue to be a thriving ecosystem for all creatures big and small.

One of the key jobs in November is to provide shelter for garden creatures. As the temperatures drop, animals like hedgehogs, birds, and insects need safe places to hibernate or seek refuge. Creating brush piles, nesting boxes, and log piles can offer them a cosy sanctuary. Additionally, it's important to maintain your pond for winter frogs and newts, as they require a suitable environment to survive the colder months.

November is also the perfect time to make the most of autumn leaves. Fallen leaves can create a paradise for wildlife, providing shelter and food sources. By leaving them in certain areas of your garden or creating leaf piles, you can create a haven for insects and small mammals.

Finally, attracting and feeding birds throughout the chilly month is crucial. Birds need extra food during winter, and by providing bird feeders and planting bird-friendly plants, you can ensure that they have a sustainable food source.

By understanding the importance of wildlife gardening in November and taking on these essential tasks, we can contribute to the well-being and survival of our garden's wildlife. Let's make this season a time of growth, abundance, and support for our feathered and furry friends.

 

 

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Top Garden Tasks to Benefit Wildlife in November

As we enter the month of November, there are several important tasks we can undertake in our gardens to benefit wildlife. These jobs will help provide essential resources and habitats for creatures big and small during the colder months.

Firstly, consider planting winter-flowering plants such as winter jasmine and mahonia. These will provide a much-needed source of nectar for bees and other pollinators, ensuring they have enough energy to survive through the winter.

Next, create a wildlife-friendly compost heap. This will not only help dispose of garden waste, but it will also provide a warm shelter for insects and other invertebrates. Make sure to avoid adding cooked food or meat to the compost, as this may attract unwanted pests.

Additionally, remember to keep bird feeders well-stocked with high-energy foods like sunflower seeds and suet. This will attract a variety of bird species to your garden and provide them with the nourishment they need to endure the colder months.

Lastly, leave some areas of your garden undisturbed, such as patches of long grass or fallen leaves. These provide important shelter and hiding places for creatures like hedgehogs and frogs.

 

Expert Tips on Providing Shelter for Garden Creatures During Cold November Months

As the temperatures drop and the winter months approach, it's crucial to provide shelter for the garden creatures that rely on our gardens for their survival. Here are some expert tips on how to create cosy and safe havens for them during the cold November months.

  1. Hedgehog homes: Hedgehogs are preparing to hibernate, so providing them with a safe shelter is essential. Create a hedgehog house by piling up leaves and twigs in a quiet corner of your garden. Make sure it's well insulated and protected from wind and rain.
  2. Nesting boxes: Many bird species will be looking for sheltered spots to roost during the winter. Install bird nesting boxes in your garden to provide them with a warm and secure place to rest. Different species have different requirements, so do some research to determine the best design and placement for the boxes.
  3. Insect hotels: Insects play a crucial role in our ecosystem, and providing them with shelter is vital. Build an insect hotel using materials like bamboo canes, hollow plant stems, and wood with drilled holes. Place it in a sunny spot and make sure to provide a variety of habitats for different types of insects.
  4. Log piles: Log piles are great for attracting insects, small mammals, and even amphibians. Stack logs and branches in a quiet corner of your garden to create a haven for these creatures. Over time, the decaying wood will provide food and shelter for a variety of wildlife.

By implementing these expert tips, you'll be helping the garden creatures survive the cold November months and contribute to the biodiversity of your garden. So roll up your sleeves and create these cosy shelters – your wildlife neighbours will thank you for it!

 

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Making the Most of Autumn Leaves – A Wildlife’s Paradise

As the leaves begin to fall and create a colourful carpet in our gardens, it's important to recognise that these fallen leaves can actually become a wildlife paradise. Autumn leaves provide an abundance of resources for a variety of creatures, making this season an excellent time to embrace the beauty of nature and create a haven for wildlife in your garden.
Firstly, fallen leaves offer shelter for insects and small mammals. They create the perfect hiding spots and provide protection from predators and harsh weather conditions. By leaving certain areas of your garden untouched, you can create safe havens for creatures like beetles, spiders, and hedgehogs.
In addition to providing shelter, autumn leaves also serve as a valuable food source. Many insects and other invertebrates rely on leaf litter for sustenance. As the leaves break down, they release essential nutrients into the soil, supporting the growth of microorganisms and providing a feast for earthworms, beetles, and other decomposers.
If you want to take it a step further, consider creating leaf piles in your garden. These leaf piles not only provide additional shelter, but they also become hotspots for foraging birds and small mammals. By piling up leaves in a designated area, you can create a buffet for hungry creatures, while adding an element of natural beauty to your garden.


Attracting and Feeding Birds Throughout the Chilly Month

As the temperatures drop and winter approaches, it's important to remember our feathered friends and provide them with the nourishment they need to survive. Birds require extra food during the colder months, as it helps them maintain their body heat and energy levels. By attracting and feeding birds in November, you can ensure that your garden becomes a sanctuary for these beautiful creatures.
One of the simplest ways to attract birds to your garden is by setting up bird feeders. Choose high-energy foods like sunflower seeds, suet, and mealworms to entice a variety of bird species. Place the feeders in a sheltered area, away from predators, and keep them well-stocked throughout the month.
In addition to bird feeders, consider planting bird-friendly plants that provide a natural food source. Native shrubs like hawthorn, blackthorn, and honeysuckle produce berries that birds love. These plants not only offer nourishment but also provide cover and nesting sites for our feathered friends.
Remember to provide a fresh water source for birds to drink and bathe in. Use a bird bath or shallow dish and keep it clean and topped up with water. You can also add a small heater to prevent the water from freezing during cold spells.


Maintaining Your Pond for Winter Frogs and Newts

As the temperatures continue to drop, it's important to take care of your pond to ensure the survival of winter frogs and newts. These amphibians rely on a suitable environment to hibernate and survive the colder months, so maintaining your pond is crucial for their well-being.
One of the first steps is to remove any fallen leaves and debris from the pond. Leaves can quickly accumulate on the surface and decompose, releasing harmful chemicals into the water. Use a net or pond skimmer to remove any leaves and keep the water clean.
Next, check the water levels and top up if necessary. As the weather gets colder, evaporation can occur, and you want to ensure that the pond has enough water to sustain the frogs and newts.
If your pond has a pump or filter system, make sure to clean and maintain it regularly. This will help keep the water clean and clear of any debris that could harm the amphibians.
Finally, consider adding a pond heater or aerator to prevent the water from freezing completely. Frogs and newts need access to oxygen during the winter, and a frozen pond can be fatal to them. These devices will help keep the water oxygenated and provide a small area of open water for the amphibians.


Planning Ahead: Planting Spring Bulbs for Early Pollinators

Now is the perfect time to start planning for the arrival of spring and the return of our beloved pollinators. By planting spring bulbs in November, you can ensure that your garden will be buzzing with life when the warmer weather arrives.

Spring bulbs, such as crocuses, daffodils, and tulips, are not only beautiful additions to your garden, but they also provide an early source of nectar for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. These hardworking creatures are essential for the pollination of many plants and play a vital role in maintaining a healthy ecosystem.

When choosing spring bulbs, opt for varieties that are known to attract pollinators. Look for bulbs that have single flowers rather than double, as they are easier for pollinators to access. Native species are also a great choice, as they are well-suited to the local environment and provide the most benefit to local pollinators.

To create a vibrant and pollinator-friendly garden, plant your spring bulbs in clusters or drifts rather than individual spots. This will create a more natural look and make it easier for pollinators to find and access the flowers.

 


Concluding Thoughts: Preparing Your Garden for a Wildlife-Friendly Winter

November is a critical month for wildlife, and by implementing these gardening jobs, we can ensure that our garden remains a haven for all creatures big and small.

By understanding the importance of wildlife gardening in November, we can appreciate the impact our actions have on the well-being and survival of our garden's wildlife. Providing shelter, maintaining ponds, attracting birds, and creating a paradise with autumn leaves are just a few ways we can make a difference.

Remember to take the expert tips we've shared on board and create cosy shelters for garden creatures. Building hedgehog homes, nesting boxes, insect hotels, and log piles will provide a safe and warm environment for wildlife during the cold months.

Make the most of the abundance of fallen leaves and create a wildlife paradise in your garden. Leave certain areas untouched, create leaf piles, and watch as your garden becomes a bustling hub of activity for insects and small mammals.

Attracting and feeding birds throughout the chilly month is crucial. By setting up bird feeders and planting bird-friendly plants, you can ensure that these beautiful creatures have a sustainable food source.

Finally, don't forget to plan ahead and plant spring bulbs for early pollinators. By doing so, you'll be providing an early source of nectar and ensuring your garden is buzzing with life when spring arrives.

 


Don't make these mistakes when mowing your lawn for winter

mistakes-mowing-lawn-winter

Don't Make These Mistakes Mowing Your Winter Lawn


As the days get shorter and the temperature drops, it's important to start preparing your lawn for the winter season. One of the most common mistakes people make is not knowing when to mow their lawn for the last time before winter. It's easy to assume that once the leaves start falling, it's time to put away the lawnmower. However, this can actually do more harm than good to your lawn. In this blog post, we'll discuss the importance of knowing when to mow your lawn for the last time before winter and the mistakes you should avoid to ensure a healthy lawn come springtime.


When should I do my final mow?

Once grass stops growing should align with a temperature drop. This will be between October and November. However, with the fluctuating seasons and warm winter sun, sometimes you may experience a delayed growth with grass continuing to sprout even into December

What if my grass keeps growing in Winter?

Cut your grass when it exceeds 3 inches

When to cut my grass?

You should not remove more than one-third of the grass height

What's the earliest I can mow my lawn?

Perform the first grass cut of the year in spring, around mid-March. From there on, mow the lawn at least once every week. Try to keep your grass' height the same all throughout spring. For most lawns, the ideal height would be 2.5 - 4cm.

Is it too early to mow the lawn UK?

Lawns should generally be mown weekly or fortnightly between March and October.

Should I put grass clippings on bare spots?

Leaving grass clippings on the lawn can actually be healthy for the grass, as it helps build a strong and nutrient-rich soil. This practice is known as “grasscycling,”.

Is it better to cut grass before or after rain?

Is mowing before or after rain better? It is always better to mow before rain if possible. If your grass is dry, but you see rain on the way, it is a good idea to mow the yard before the rain arrives.


When to Mow Your Lawn Before Winter Hits

As the winter season approaches, it's crucial to properly prepare your garden for the colder months. One of the most important aspects of winter lawn care is knowing when to mow your lawn for the last time before winter. Many people make the mistake of assuming that once the leaves start falling, it's time to put away the lawnmower. However, this can actually do more harm than good to your garden.

To ensure a healthy lawn come springtime, it's important to understand when is the right time to mow your lawn for the last time before winter. The general rule of thumb is to stop mowing your lawn once it stops growing. As the temperature drops, grass growth slows down significantly. This means that your lawn will require less frequent mowing.

Typically, the best time to mow your lawn for the last time before winter hits is in late autumn or early winter. This is usually around October or November, depending on your location and the climate. By this time, grass growth has slowed down enough to justify stopping regular mowing. However, it's important to pay attention to the condition of your lawn and make adjustments accordingly.

 

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If you live in a region where the winters are mild and grass growth continues throughout the year, you may need to continue mowing your lawn sporadically. In such cases, it's best to mow your lawn when the grass height exceeds 3 inches. This will help prevent snow mould and other lawn diseases that thrive in long grass during winter.

On the other hand, if you live in an area with harsh winters where the ground freezes, it's crucial to stop mowing your lawn early enough. Mowing your lawn too late in the season can leave it vulnerable to winter damage. The last thing you want is to have a freshly cut lawn that gets buried under a layer of snow.

Additionally, it's important to remember that while mowing your lawn, you should not remove more than one-third of the grass height. This is crucial for maintaining the health and integrity of your lawn. Cutting the grass too short can weaken it and make it more susceptible to winter stress and damage.

 


Common Mistakes You Should Avoid When Preparing Your Lawn for Winter

Preparing your lawn for winter is essential for maintaining a healthy and beautiful garden. However, many people make common mistakes that can have a negative impact on their lawn's well-being. To help you avoid these pitfalls, we've compiled a list of the most common mistakes you should avoid when preparing your lawn for winter.

  1. Neglecting to remove debris: One of the biggest mistakes people make is failing to remove leaves, branches, and other debris from their garden before winter. This debris can suffocate your grass, prevent sunlight from reaching the soil, and create an environment for disease and pests to thrive. Be sure to rake up fallen leaves and remove any debris before the first snowfall.
  2. Over-mowing: While it's important to mow your lawn for the last time before winter, over-mowing can be detrimental. Cutting your grass too short weakens the roots and leaves your lawn vulnerable to damage during the winter months. Avoid scalping your lawn and aim to cut it to a height of around 2.5 to 3 inches. This will help insulate the grass and protect it from the cold.
  3. Failing to aerate: Aeration is the process of creating small holes in your garden to allow air, water, and nutrients to reach the grassroots. This is especially important before winter when the soil becomes compacted. Compacted soil can prevent proper water drainage and lead to waterlogged roots. Consider renting an aerator or hiring a professional to ensure your garden gets the aeration it needs.
  4. Forgetting to fertilise: While grass growth may slow down during winter, it still requires nutrients to stay healthy. Fertilising your garden before winter can help strengthen the roots and provide essential nutrients for spring growth. Use a winter-specific fertiliser with a slow-release formula to nourish your garden throughout the colder months.
  5. Neglecting to water: Even though it may seem counterintuitive, your garden still needs water during the winter months. If there is a lack of snow or rainfall, be sure to give your garden a deep watering once every three weeks. This will help prevent the roots from drying out and keep your grass hydrated throughout the winter.
  6. Failing to control weeds: Weeds can wreak havoc on your garden, even during winter. Before the first frost hits, take the time to control any existing weeds in your garden. Pull them out by hand or use an herbicide to prevent them from taking over your garden during the colder months.

Avoiding these common mistakes will ensure that your garden stays healthy and vibrant throughout the winter. By properly preparing your garden for the colder months, you'll set the stage for a beautiful and lush yard come springtime. Don't let these simple mistakes derail your winter garden maintenance. Take the time to care for your garden now, and you'll reap the rewards when warmer weather arrives.

 
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Is it too Late to Mow in November?

Many homeowners wonder if it's too late to mow their lawn in November. The answer depends on various factors, such as the climate and the condition of your lawn. In general, it's best to mow your lawn for the last time before winter sets in, which is usually in late autumn or early winter.

If your lawn is still actively growing and the grass height exceeds 3 inches, it's not too late to mow in November. However, you should aim to mow it before the ground freezes and the first snowfall. Mowing your lawn too late in the season can leave it vulnerable to winter damage, as freshly cut grass can be buried under a layer of snow and suffocate.

It's important to pay attention to the condition of your lawn and make adjustments accordingly. If you live in a region with mild winters where grass growth continues throughout the year, you may need to continue mowing your lawn sporadically. In such cases, mow your lawn when the grass height exceeds 3 inches to prevent snow mould and other lawn diseases that thrive in long grass during winter.

On the other hand, if you live in an area with harsh winters where the ground freezes, it's crucial to stop mowing your lawn early enough. The last thing you want is to have a freshly cut lawn that gets buried under a layer of snow. So, if it's already late November and your lawn is still actively growing, it may be best to leave it be until the following spring.

Remember, when mowing your lawn in November, it's important not to remove more than one-third of the grass height. Cutting the grass too short weakens it and makes it more susceptible to winter stress and damage. Aim to cut your grass to a height of around 2.5 to 3 inches to help insulate the grass and protect it from the cold.


The Importance of Winter Lawn Care

Taking care of your lawn during the winter months may not be the most glamorous task, but it is essential for maintaining a healthy and vibrant garden come springtime. Many people assume that once the temperatures drop and snow starts falling, their lawn doesn't require any further maintenance. However, neglecting your lawn during the winter can lead to a host of issues, including disease, pest infestation, and weak, patchy grass.

One of the primary reasons winter lawn care is so important is because the condition of your lawn going into winter can directly impact its health in the spring. By properly preparing and maintaining your lawn during the colder months, you can ensure that it will thrive when the warmer weather arrives.

One crucial aspect of winter lawn care is preventing snow mould and other diseases. Snow mould is a fungal disease that thrives in cold, wet conditions, and can cause unsightly patches and damage to your lawn. By mowing your lawn to the correct height and removing excess thatch, you can prevent snow mould from taking hold.

Another reason winter lawn care is vital is to protect your lawn from pests. Many insects and rodents seek shelter in lawns during the winter months. By properly maintaining your lawn, you can reduce the risk of infestations and keep your garden healthy and pest-free.

Regular maintenance throughout the winter can also help to prevent weeds from taking over your lawn. Weeds are opportunistic and can quickly take hold in neglected lawns. By regularly checking for and removing weeds, you can prevent them from spreading and keep your lawn looking its best.

Watering your lawn during the winter months may seem counterintuitive, but it is still essential. If there is a lack of snow or rainfall, your lawn can become dehydrated and suffer from winter desiccation. By giving your lawn a deep watering once every three weeks, you can help prevent root dehydration and keep your grass healthy throughout the winter.

Overall, winter lawn care is crucial for maintaining the health and appearance of your garden. By taking the time to properly prepare and maintain your lawn during the colder months, you can ensure that it will bounce back in the spring, ready for a season of growth and beauty.

So, as you start preparing your garden for the winter season, don't neglect your lawn. Remember to mow it for the last time before winter hits, avoiding common mistakes such as over-mowing and cutting the grass too short. Pay attention to the condition of your lawn and adjust your maintenance routine accordingly.

By giving your lawn the attention it needs during the winter, you'll set the stage for a lush and healthy garden in the spring. Don't underestimate the importance of winter lawn care – your lawn will thank you with vibrant, green growth when the warmer weather arrives. So grab your winter lawn care tools, wrap up warm, and get ready to give your lawn the care it deserves. Your garden will reward you with a beautiful landscape come springtime.


Do Birds Really Need Your Help in Winter? Yes, and Here's Why

winter birds care

Do Birds Really Need Your Help in Winter? Yes, and Here's Why


As the temperature drops and the days get shorter, many of us start to worry about the well-being of our feathered friends. But do birds really need our help during the winter months? The answer is yes, and here's why. While birds have evolved to survive in colder temperatures, the harsh conditions of winter can still pose a threat to their health and survival. As natural food sources become scarce and water sources freeze over, birds often struggle to find enough nourishment to keep them going. In this blog post, we'll explore the reasons why birds need our help in winter and how we can provide for them during this challenging season.

 

During winter, birds expend more energy to keep warm, and finding enough food can become a real challenge. Many insects and plants go dormant during this time, leaving birds with limited options. Additionally, the cold weather can freeze water sources, making it difficult for birds to drink or bathe. This lack of hydration can lead to dehydration and health problems.

But we can make a difference by providing them with the care they need. By setting up bird feeders and providing a freshwater source, we can help birds stay nourished and hydrated throughout the winter. Not only does this help them survive, but it also brings joy to our lives as we observe these beautiful creatures visiting our gardens. So, let's dive in and explore the different ways we can support birds during the winter season.

 

Understanding the challenges birds face in winter

Winter can be a challenging time for birds, as they face numerous obstacles to their survival. The cold temperatures require birds to use more energy to stay warm, which means they need to find additional sources of food. However, many insects and plants go dormant during the winter months, leaving birds with limited options for sustenance. This scarcity of food can lead to malnutrition and even death for some species.

Additionally, water sources often freeze over during winter, making it difficult for birds to find hydration. Without access to water, birds can become dehydrated and suffer from health problems.

Furthermore, extreme weather conditions, such as storms and heavy snowfall, can disrupt the birds' natural habitats and make it harder for them to find shelter.

Understanding these challenges is crucial in order to provide the necessary care for birds during winter. By setting up bird feeders filled with high-energy foods like seeds and nuts, we can help supplement their diet and ensure they receive the nutrition they need to survive. Additionally, providing a source of fresh water, such as a heated birdbath, can help birds stay hydrated during the freezing temperatures.

By being aware of the challenges birds face in winter and taking steps to provide them with the necessary care, we can play a vital role in their survival during this difficult season.

 

Providing shelter and food for birds during winter

During the cold winter months, it's essential to provide shelter and food for our feathered friends. Setting up bird feeders is a simple and effective way to offer them a reliable source of nourishment. Fill the feeders with high-energy foods like seeds and nuts, which will provide birds with the necessary nutrients to keep them healthy and warm. Consider placing different types of feeders at varying heights to accommodate a variety of bird species. Additionally, providing a sheltered area, such as a birdhouse or dense shrubs, can give birds a safe place to roost and seek protection from the harsh weather conditions. Remember to regularly clean and refill the feeders to ensure birds always have access to fresh food. By providing shelter and food, we can make a significant difference in supporting birds during the winter season and help them thrive during this challenging time. 

TOP TIP: Make sure feed is easy to eat, every little helps when it comes to conserving energy. Husk and Hull free food is faster to eat and cleaner. 

Transform your feeder into a shelter

With a few simple adaptations, you can provide extra support to your garden birds during the colder months. 

  • Turn nest boxes upside down. This keeps it warmer and seal and cracks to create an insulated house leaving the bottom entrance.
  • Use celotex or kingspan or whatever bedding materials you can find to warm the inner walls.
  • Wedge large twigs in for a perch to stand on.
  • Cover the base with sawdust, dry leaves or moss. General alternatives to sawdust also work such as horse bedding paper or absorbant hamster bedding.
  • Try to position the box for drainage, slightly tilted forward to allow rain runoff to to flow away. 

 

The infamous winter bird, the Robin

70% of Robins will die within their first year. Their first winter is the hardest and they are incredibly teritorial.

As great pest eaters, singers of beautiful songs and a gardener's companion during the colder months, Robins are value assets to any garden and great to have around. 

By supplementing their diet with insect rich food you can help to keep them and their chicks supported. Robins are ground feeders but will often feed from tables and when comfortable in a garden become quite tame and feed from anywhere their favourite grub is found. 

 

Additional tips for caring for birds in winter

As we continue to support our feathered friends during the winter season, there are a few additional tips we can keep in mind to ensure their well-being. First, it's important to clean the bird feeders regularly to prevent the spread of disease. Use a mild solution of water and bleach to clean the feeders, making sure to rinse them thoroughly before refilling. Additionally, consider providing a variety of foods to attract different bird species. Some birds prefer seeds, whilst others may be more drawn to suet or fruit. By offering a diverse range of food options, we can cater to the different dietary needs of birds and attract a wider variety of species to our gardens. Finally, it's crucial to create a safe environment for birds by reducing window collisions. You can apply window decals or use blinds to make windows more visible to birds, preventing unnecessary injuries or fatalities. By implementing these additional tips, we can go above and beyond in caring for birds during the winter season.

 

bird nest boxbird nest box

New England Bird Nest Box

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Barrel Bird Nester Box

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Barrel Bird Nester Box


10 Ways to Prep your Garden for Winter in Autumn

autumn gardening with original organics

Garden prep for Winter in Autumn, a top 10 tip guide

As autumn starts to arrive, it's time to start thinking about preparing your garden for the cold winter months. This guide will help you get your garden ready for the winter season, with our top 10 tips for prepping your garden in autumn. From mulching to pruning, these tips will ensure your garden is ready to face the colder temperatures and shorter days ahead.

Follow our top 10 tips

  1. Clear up fallen leaves
  2. Remove summer bedding plants
  3. Prune trees and shrubs
  4. Cut back perennials
  5. Protect tender plants from frost
  6. Add mulch to garden beds
  7. Plant spring-flowering bulbs
  8. Inspect garden structures
  9. Clean garden tools and equipment
  10. Plan next year's garden

 

1) Clear up fallen leaves

With the arrival of autumn, the ground is carpeted with the beautiful hues of falling leaves. However, those leaves can wreak havoc on your garden if left to accumulate. It's important to clear up fallen leaves before winter sets in. Why? Because leaving them on your lawn or garden beds can smother your grass and plants, creating a breeding ground for pests and diseases.

But don't just throw those leaves away! They make excellent compost material. Gather them up and add them to your compost bin or create a separate leaf pile to decompose. The resulting leaf mould can be used as a nutrient-rich mulch or soil conditioner in your garden next year. So, grab a rake and get to work clearing up those fallen leaves. Your garden will thank you come spring! We have a wide variety of composting solutions here. 

 

Considering organic composting? Did you know Worms are free garden helpers that can be harnessed for your composting needs?

 

original organics wormery

Includes all the below features in a ready-to-go kit for all your composting needs.  

  • Tiger Wormery with trays, drainage sump tray, tap and lid
  • Approx. 250g Bag Live Worms or a Worm Card Voucher*
  • Approx. 1.5kg Lime Mix (to neutralise acidity)
  • Approx. 300g Coir Block (to use as bedding to start your wormeries)

 

2) Remove summer bedding plants

Now that autumn is here, it's time to bid farewell to your summer bedding plants. As the temperatures drop and the days grow shorter, these plants start to wither and lose their vibrancy. Removing them from your garden not only tidies up the space, but also allows you to prepare for the next growing season.

Start by gently lifting the plants from the soil, being careful not to damage the roots. You can then compost the plants, turning them into valuable organic matter for your garden. Alternatively, if the plants are still healthy and show no signs of disease or pests, you can try to transplant them into pots and bring them indoors to extend their lifespan.

Removing summer bedding plants also gives you the opportunity to assess the overall health and condition of your garden. Take note of any areas that may need extra attention or improvements, and start planning for new additions in the coming months. With the right care and preparation, your garden will be ready to shine in the spring! Shop Plant protection here.

 

3) Prune trees and shrubs

As autumn settles in, it's time to turn our attention to pruning trees and shrubs in our gardens. Pruning is an essential task that helps maintain the health and shape of these plants, as well as promoting new growth in the coming months. Start by removing any dead, diseased, or damaged branches to prevent the spread of diseases and pests. Make clean cuts just above a bud or branch collar, and remember to use sharp, clean tools to avoid damaging the plant.

It's also a good time to thin out any overcrowded areas and improve air circulation, which can reduce the risk of fungal diseases. Pruning can be a bit daunting at first, but with a little practice and knowledge, you'll soon become confident in shaping and maintaining your trees and shrubs. So, grab your secateurs and get ready to give your garden a fresh and tidy start this autumn. Your plants will thank you for it!

Find a full selection of garden tools ready to help you complete your tasks, from machinery to high-quality everyday gloves.  

 

4) Cut back perennials

As the days grow shorter and colder, it's time to give your perennials a little TLC. Cutting back these plants in autumn helps them conserve energy and prepare for their winter dormancy. Start by removing any dead or decaying foliage, as this can become a breeding ground for pests and diseases. Cut back the stems of the plants to just a few inches above the ground, making clean cuts with sharp shears. This will not only tidy up your garden beds but also promote healthy regrowth in the spring. As you cut back your perennials, take note of any areas that may need dividing or replanting. With a little care and attention now, your perennials will reward you with a burst of colour and growth when spring arrives.

5) Protect tender plants from frost

As the colder temperatures of winter approach, it's important to take steps to protect your tender plants from frost. Frost can cause damage to delicate plants and hinder their growth come spring. To protect your plants, start by covering them with frost blankets or horticultural fleece. These materials create a barrier between the plants and the cold air, trapping heat and preventing frost from forming on the leaves. Alternatively, you can use cloches or plant protectors to shield individual plants from the harsh weather. Remember to remove the covers during the day to allow sunlight and air circulation. Additionally, consider moving potted plants indoors or into a greenhouse to keep them warm and sheltered from frost. By taking these measures, you can ensure that your tender plants survive the winter and thrive when warmer weather returns. 

 

6) Add mulch to garden beds

As autumn sets in, one important step in preparing your garden for winter is to add mulch to your garden beds. Mulch serves as a protective layer that helps to insulate the soil and plants from the cold temperatures. It also helps to retain moisture in the soil, preventing it from drying out during the winter months.

To add mulch to your garden beds, start by removing any weeds or debris. Then, apply a layer of mulch around 2-3 inches thick, making sure to leave a gap around the base of the plants to avoid rot. You can use a variety of materials for mulch, such as shredded bark, compost, or straw. Just make sure the mulch is well-rotted to avoid attracting pests or diseases.

Adding mulch not only protects your plants, but it also adds a neat and tidy appearance to your garden. So grab your wheelbarrow and get mulching to ensure a healthy and thriving garden come spring.

Need some help? Our Electric mulching lawnmower is here for a healthier lawn. 

 

7) Plant spring-flowering bulbs

Now is the perfect time to plant spring-flowering bulbs in your garden. Planting bulbs in autumn allows them to establish their root systems and go dormant over the winter, so they can burst into bloom when spring arrives.

Choose a variety of bulbs, such as daffodils, tulips, or crocuses, to add a vibrant splash of colour to your garden after the long winter months. Before planting, ensure the soil is well-drained and free from any weeds or debris. Dig a hole at the recommended depth for the specific bulb, usually around two to three times its height, and place the bulb with the pointed end facing upwards. Fill the hole with soil and gently pat it down to remove any air pockets.

Remember to space the bulbs according to the recommended distance, as overcrowding can inhibit their growth and flower production. Water the bulbs thoroughly after planting, and continue to water regularly until the ground freezes.

By planting spring-flowering bulbs now, you can look forward to a stunning display of blooms that will bring joy and beauty to your garden when winter finally ends.

8) Inspect garden structures

As autumn settles in and the winds start to pick up, it's important to take the time to inspect your garden structures. This includes any fences, trellises, arbours, or other decorative elements that may be in your garden. Inspecting these structures now can help you identify any damage or wear and tear that may have occurred over the summer months. Look for signs of rot, loose screws or nails, and any areas that may need reinforcement. Taking the time to repair or replace these structures now will ensure they can withstand the harsh winter weather ahead. Additionally, inspecting your garden structures provides an opportunity to consider any changes or additions you may want to make in the coming year. Perhaps you've been dreaming of adding a new pergola or expanding your garden bed borders. Use this time to brainstorm and plan for next year's garden projects. By inspecting your garden structures and making any necessary repairs or improvements now, you can enjoy a well-maintained and aesthetically pleasing garden all year round.

Whilst you inspect your garden, you may want to add or replace some damaged items. Check out our range of garden statues. 

9) Clean garden tools and equipment

With the autumn season in full swing, it's time to give some love and attention to your trusty garden tools and equipment. Cleaning and maintaining your tools not only helps to prolong their lifespan, but it also ensures they perform at their best when you need them. Start by gathering all your tools and giving them a thorough wipe-down to remove any dirt, grime, or debris. Use warm soapy water and a scrub brush to get into all the nooks and crannies. Don't forget to clean the blades of your secateurs, shears, and pruners, as well as any shovels or spades. Once they are clean, make sure to dry them thoroughly to prevent rust. You can also use a lubricating oil to keep any moving parts in good working order. As you clean your tools, take the time to inspect them for any signs of damage or wear. Replace any worn or broken parts, and sharpen blades if necessary. By taking the time to clean and maintain your garden tools and equipment now, you'll be ready to tackle any gardening tasks that come your way, and you'll ensure their longevity for years to come. So roll up your sleeves and get cleaning, your tools will thank you!

How are your gutters looking? A leaf-filled trough will cause many issues in the future if not protected. Why not try our hedgehog gutter brush?

 

10) Plan for next year's garden.

As you wrap up your garden preparations for the winter, it's the perfect time to start dreaming and planning for next year's garden. Use the quieter winter months to research new plants, design changes, or additions you'd like to make to your outdoor space. Think about what worked well this year and what didn't, and use that information to make informed decisions about your garden's future. Consider the colours and themes you'd like to incorporate, and envision how you can create a beautiful and functional space. Browse gardening magazines, websites, and social media for inspiration, and make a list of plants or seeds you want to try. Take note of any supplies or equipment you'll need to invest in for next season. By taking the time now to plan for next year's garden, you'll be well-prepared and ready to hit the ground running come spring. So grab a cup of tea, curl up with some gardening catalogues, and let your imagination run wild. The possibilities are endless!

Find our full garden range here and be inspired. 

 

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