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How to protect my garden for winter

If you hope to return to a glorious garden come summer, the key is preparing your garden in winter for the harsh months ahead. 

Annual vegetables are nearing the end of their lifespan. After the rush of spring planting and the peak of summer’s harvest, it’s tempting to shut the garden gate and let nature take its course. 

However, a few careful steps executed now will save you effort in the long run. If you would like to reduce the amount of work facing you during next year’s spring:

 

Clean up rotting and finished plants

Having a load of dead plants and roots in your garden isn’t attractive for anyone’s home. The best thing you can do is dig them out. Make sure when you’re digging your plants up that they remove any bulbs or seeds and put them in safe storage for the spring. Saving your seeds saves you money by having to buy new plants again next year.

Clean up rotting

One thing to look into is checking which plants are perennials, trees, and shrubs as they will go dormant for the winter instead of dying. They may look dead, but they’re simply using less energy until the soil warms up and the days get longer. 

Allowing them to produce enough energy for photosynthesis. So when clearing your garden remember there are plenty of things going on during the cold months.

Look out for the wildlife 

Every garden benefits from an ecosystem of insects, birds and other wildlife. You can give them a helping hand during the colder months by leaving out feeders for birds and birdbaths. You may catch other animals using it as a water supply. The wildlife that lives around your garden is crucial to its survival in the summer.

Although you might want to prepare your garden for spring and tidy up that pile of leaves, sometimes it’s better for the wildlife if you leave some of it. A pile of fallen leaves can make a cosy hiding spot, and leaving wood piles gives insects a safe resting place. Doing this will also attract more wildlife to your garden for the spring helping with the pollination of your plants next year. 

Wildlife in garden

Where possible, leave areas undisturbed for hibernating creatures to safely sleep all winter. You can relax inside wrapped up warm and know hibernating wildlife in your garden are safe and cosy in the nooks and crannies you’ve left for them.

Clean Up and Repair

Although most gardeners know they should keep tools clean and well oiled throughout the year, it’s difficult to keep up with this task when gardening is in full swing. Fall is a great time to rejuvenate your tools’ lifespan by giving them some well-needed attention. Over the last 6 months, many of your tools will become blunt or are covered in soil and grass stains which would degrade them over the winter. 

Clean up and Repair

The best way to sort your tools out is to first wash the tools with warm water and either a brush or cloth depending on the tool used. Many of your metal tools have likely claimed some rust which you may struggle to remove with a regular brush, Sandpaper or a wire brush should do the trick. Afterwards, dry your tools off and coat them in oil to help extend their life for at least another year. 

Looking after your outdoor products 

If you have decking fencing or even some outdoor furniture it is worth giving it all a good wash and scrub down to remove any mould that would be left over the winter. The dirt on your outdoor products will have trapped moisture which will increase the mould growth so make sure there are no leftover marks.  For your decking and fencing, this is the perfect time to stain them. This will help them have a protective layer in the colder months when moisture is the highest. 

In wintertime, it’s best to cover up your furniture and store it somewhere dryer. Although we know that’s not always possible. If you are leaving your furniture outside but covering it over, either use a purpose-made cover or wrap it up in a tarpaulin.


Looking after outdoor products

Make sure everything is clean and bone dry before you cover it up and there is ventilation for air to circulate so that if moisture gets in it can also more easily get out on a dry day.

If mould was to grow on anything wooden it would likely need to be replaced in the springtime or it would likely fall down. Making sure everything is right before winter is important and can save you a lot of money in the future. 

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