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With winter just around the corner, its time to think about how to prepare your garden for the colder months of the year. Some of these tips may or may not apply to you, based on where you live and your weather patterns. Below is a collaborative post on some things to keep in mind when protecting your garden from damage this winter.
The green fingered amongst us who dote on our backyards tend to spend extended periods of time taking care of our gardens during the summer months. We mow the grass regularly, pull weeds, ensure that our plants are well watered and protected from pests, trim bushes, prune trees, and generally ensure that everything is made presentable.
However, as we start to enter the winter months, we tend to look at the gloomy picture outside and convince ourselves that we’ll carry on our gardening work tomorrow, or maybe the day after. Who can blame us? Nobody wants to spend hours toiling away in the garden when it’s wet and rainy or frosty and icy. Cuddling up in front of the television indoors is a much more preferable option.
But if you want to avoid a mess of a garden and you want to return to a pretty and presentable scene in the spring months, you’re going to have to make the effort to maintain your outdoor space come rain or shine! Now is the time of year when it really does need the most TLC. Here are a few steps that you can take to protect it from damage throughout the upcoming months!
Most of the leaves will have fallen from the trees by now, but if there are still leaves lying around on the ground in your backyard, it’s extremely important that you remove them. Not only will they quickly change from pretty shades of red, orange, and yellow to a decayed brown and black pulpy mess, but they will prevent sufficient sunlight from reaching your grass. This can cause serious damage and can cause your grass to wither and die, as it won’t be able to photosynthesize and maintain itself.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the wind will eventually blow them away somewhere. Your fences will generally block leaves from escaping. Instead, you need to be a little more active.
If you’re feeling energetic, you can use a rake to gather and collect the leaves to then dispose of them. If you want to spend a little less time outdoors, you might want to invest in a leaf blower. While this will prove to be more expensive, it can be used year after year and gets the job done as quickly as possible.
Remember to Water Plants and Grass
Many of us make the assumption that we don’t need to water our plants throughout the winter. We assume that rainfall is sufficient to keep everything as hydrated as it needs to be. But this isn’t necessarily the case. Rain can be sporadic and outbursts may not be sufficient for your plants. You may still need to top everything up with your watering can or hose. Monitor rainfall and determine whether there have been any dry spells that could see your plants need a little extra water.
Put Up a Deer Fence
If you have deer in your local area, they may encroach onto your land in search of food. Who can blame them? Their main sources of food tend to get scarce during the colder winter months and they’ll become increasingly willing to come into closer contact with humans for the sake of a good meal. However, if you’re not willing to offer up your own plants to them, you might want to install a Garden Deer Fence. This is a humane way to prevent them from stepping foot on your property.
If you have trees in your garden and it snows heavily, you should consider sweeping the snow from their branches. This will reduce the weight that they have to bear and can ensure that light reaches any leaves. Just be extremely careful when doing this – large volumes of snow can be heavy and you don’t want this to fall on you from above.
If you have flower beds, you might want to consider spreading a layer of mulch over the soil’s surface. This will prevent the soil from becoming compacted over the winter months and can consequently avoid water logging during periods of excessive rain. Mulch can also protect the roots of perennials from frost!
Raise Potted Plants
Potted plants can become waterlogged extremely easily. So, take the time to ensure that all pots have holes in the bottom that excess water can drain out of and that these pots are raised above the ground. This will prevent plants from becoming overwatered and will reduce the chances of roots rotting.
Consider a Greenhouse
If you have delicate or particularly vulnerable plants that you want to maintain through the winter months, consider investing in a greenhouse. This will provide them with a safer space to grow in. They will be better insulated and will be out of the reach of snow, ice, and frost.
Ventilate Your Greenhouse
If you do invest in a greenhouse, make sure to monitor the temperature inside of it. The sun’s rays can still be strong on clear days and you will consequently need to ventilate the space in order to maintain a good temperature.
As you can see, you do have to take various steps to fully protect your garden during the winter months. Don’t be a fair weather gardener. Make sure that you maintain all of the hard work that you have already put into your outdoor space over the summer and autumn months!
What are you doing to protect your garden from damage this winter? Let me know in the comments section below!