Ten Ways to Prepare Your Garden For Winter
2020 as a whole has gone far too quickly, and it’s scary to think that we’re now midway through September. Many of us will have spent a great deal of time at home over the last few months, and for those of us with plenty of outdoor space, there’s no denying we will have been putting some extra love and attention into our gardens. While we’re still enjoying a little post-summer sunshine, it’ll soon be time to start thinking about how we can get our gardens ready for the winter months. So, as autumn peeks just around the corner, we’ve put together ten ways in which you can start preparing your garden for winter.
1: Tidy Borders
Investing in a little time to tidy the borders in your garden is a great way to ensure you get a vibrant and healthy looking display by the time next spring rolls around. While it’s a good time to cut back perennials, it’s a good idea to leave a little for the wildlife in your garden. Herbaceous perennials are a good winter habitat for insects such as ladybirds, so if you want to look out for them during the colder months, bear that in mind when cutting them back. Once you’ve tidied your borders, spread a generous layer of compost or manure to provide plenty of nourishment. There’s no need to worry about digging it in either, as the worms will happily get this task done for you!
2: Fill Your Bird Feeders
Our feathered friends need a little extra help over the winter, so if you have bird feeders in your garden, leave them out and keep them topped up for the colder months so they have plenty to eat. Be sure to leave any bird baths out too so that they can easily get some water if they need a drink. It’s also a good idea to give your bird bath a clean too! We have plenty of ways for you to look after any feathered visitors to your garden, from nesting boxes to suet balls - check out our full selection of bird care products for more.
3: Clean Furniture, Tools & Equipment
Garden furniture in particular will have had a lot of use over the summer, so before you pack it away in the shed or the garage, give it a good clean, and if it’s wooden furniture, treat it with a quality wood preservative to keep it looking at it’s best. If you don’t tend to store your furniture away over the winter, make sure you keep it covered so that it stays in good condition. As for any tools and garden equipment, these should be maintained regularly for safety reasons, so the change of the season can be a good time to do it. Keeping your tools clean and rust free will make all of your garden jobs a lot easier, so give spades and forks a good wash and make sure they’re dried properly before you put them away. Oil any metal parts and sharpen tools such as shears and this will ensure they’re ready to go for the spring. Check over any power tools for issues too, as this will give you plenty of time to get them fixed or replaced. If any of your gardening essentials need upgrading, why not take a look at our full range of garden tools and equipment?
4: Clean Your Greenhouse
Cleaning away shade paint from the glass in your greenhouse is one of the best ways to ensure your precious plants get as much light as they can over the winter months. The more light that gets in, the more this will raise those temperatures, so it could also save you a bit of money on heating your greenhouse. You don’t need any fancy products to do the shop either - a bucket of hot water will do the job just fine, provided you throw in plenty of elbow grease! Now is also a good time to have a general clear out and tidy of your greenhouse too, so throw away anything you no longer need or that needs replacing, clean out old pots and seed trays and sweep out any debris. One final tip though - make sure there’s plenty of ventilation in your greenhouse afterwards so that it can dry out thoroughly. You don’t want that hard work going to waste!
5: Rake Leaves and Make Homemade Leaf Mould
Those autumn leaves can look beautiful on the trees before they start falling, but when they start covering everything in sight in your garden, it can look a little messy. Grab the rake and get tidying, but don’t throw fallen leaves away - recycle them and make homemade leaf mould! It’s incredibly easy to do and is a great way to provide structure and nourishment for your soil. Find a spot in your garden that’s out of the way, and make a bin using some mesh and wooden stakes, or check out our range of leaf composting bins. Just add the leaves and a little water and you’re all set! The whole process can take a fair bit of time, and different types of leaves will rot quicker than others, but a good way to move things along a little quicker is by shredding the leaves first. For more tips, check out our leaf mould making guide!
6: Clean Out Last Year’s Compost
By doing all of this work, you’ll more than likely be generating plenty of material for your compost heap, so this is a good time to start spreading last year’s compost around your garden. Not only will this clear out your compost bin for this year’s batch, but you’ll be giving your soil plenty of nourishment for the winter. If your compost isn’t ready yet, just turn it and start a new heap next to it with the fresh material.
7: Plant Spring Flowering Bulbs
As the autumn months roll in, it’s time to get started on those spring flowering plants. If you’re planting daffodils and hyacinths, ideally get these done before the end of September, and plants such as tulips should be done around November. If you have any summer flowering bulbs such as lilies and alliums, the best time to plant these is generally around September/October time. Get planting now and look forward to those gorgeous displays come spring time!
8: Clean Out Your Water Butt
It’s a good idea to clean out any water butts in your garden to let them refill with the autumn rain. You could even look at installing a new one ready for next year too - check out our full range of water butts for plenty of options, whether you go for a decorative style or something subtle to blend in with your garden, there’s lots to choose from!
9: Insulate Plant Pots
With the colder months looming, it’s important to protect your plants from frosts and harsh temperatures. If you have any pots with shrubs, insulate them to not only protect the roots, but also to prevent the pots from cracking. Heavy duty fleece bags are useful here, as they’ll protect your plants from the colder temperatures and will also deter slugs too. It can also be a good idea to raise any plant pots off the ground to prevent any water logging too.
10: Get Planning For Next Year
Once you’ve ticked all these jobs off your list, the final task is a lot more laid back. Pour yourself a cuppa and kick back with a notebook to get planning your garden look for the spring! Use Pinterest or gardening blogs for inspiration, and take stock of what’s gone well this year so that you know what to aim for next year. October is also a good time of year to plant fruit bushes and perennials too, so now is the perfect time to get ordering if you’re wanting to feature these in your garden.
Remember, taking all the necessary steps to tidy, protect and maintain your garden over the winter is one of the best ways that you can watch it flourish all year round! So, grab your gardening gloves and put those green fingers to work!
Written by Amy Jackson - Content and Features Writer at Discount Promo Codes - 16th September 2020