With colder weather on the way, numerous preparations are needed around our homes. But aside from making sure the heating is working and the boiler is ready for increased demand, you also need to spare a thought for your garden. After all, plants and wildlife have no escape from the elements and if you want your garden to stay looking fresh then you need to take the necessary steps. Here’s a few tips on how to prepare your garden for the winter season.
Clear any debris
The first thing you need to do is clear your garden of any debris. A cluttered garden will look derelict and abandoned so it’s important you keep everything clear and tidy. Aside from this, loose debris can pose a significant risk to you by acting as a potential trip hazard. This danger is enhanced when the floor becomes wet or damp so taking the time to clear your pathways will pay off dividends.
Falls are a common source of injury for those in their later years so any senior gardeners should pay particular attention to this point. Keep all walkways clear from hazards and consider other ways in which you can make your garden more accessible. This might mean investing in outdoor stairlifts which help you move around difficult outdoor areas.
After clearing any debris or loose plant life from your garden, you need to begin caring for what is left. Any delicate plants which may struggle to survive a cold winter should be given shelter. This can mean transferring them into pots and bringing them into your home or perhaps a greenhouse. If leaving them in an outdoor structure such as a greenhouse then you may want to consider wrapping them in a light insulating material to banish the cold.
For any plants or wildlife which cannot be brought inside, you need to know how to look after them in all weathers. Lawns are a particular problem area and you’ll want to make sure your grass stays well tended so that it looks fresh and green come the spring.
This fantastic lawn care guide can help you learn what to do for year-round maintenance and one of their top tips is applying different fertilisers to the grass depending on the time of year. In the spring you’ll want one in high in nitrogen while for the winter you’ll want high in potassium to help toughen it up ready for the inevitable cold snap.
A number of plants don’t flower over the winter and that can make your garden look a little sparse. To make sure there is still some colour and life in the garden, invest in winter plants or all-round bloomers. These are more resilient that summer plants so should be relatively easy to care for and will mean that you have something attractive to look at while the weather is getting colder.
Try and pick plants which require as little maintenance as possible but don’t overlook the importance of watering. Ground can become hard and impenetrable over the winter so you need to ensure you’re still able to get moisture to the plants’ roots.
Lesley Harvey is an interiors, home & lifestyle specialist, writing on all topics of home & family life.