How to Prepare Your Garden for Winter
As the winter approaches, many people start thinking about how they can get their garden ready to withstand the change in temperatures. The more time you take to care for your garden in the fall, the better it will look and the easier it will be to manage in the springtime.
The first thing to do is give your yard a good tidy up. The summer furniture should be stored away or covered up, ready for the worst of the winter weather. If you have plastic chairs, consider stacking them and tying them down so that they don’t blow around the yard when the wind picks up. Any outside toys should also be stored away. Before you store furniture and toys, give them a good clean so that they are ready for use again in the spring.
Collect the fallen leaves when they are dry and crisp as this will make the job easier. You can use a stiff brush or rake to gather them in a pile before transferring them to a trash bag. If you have a leaf blower, you can use this to make sure that there are no piles in the corners where mold can accumulate in the wetter months.
The good folk at Project Honey Bees, makers of a range of bee jewelry, say that if you want to help solitary bees during the winter, consider keeping some of the leaves you have gathered. Project Honey Bees’ work helps to fund important research into saving the bees. They say that little piles of leaves and twigs on a lawn can provide the perfect shelter for solitary bees in the winter.
Protect Water Features
If you have a pond, water feature, or sprinkler system, you will need to take steps to ensure they are protected during the winter. For example, cleaning your pond before winter is the perfect time as this is when many creatures start to become dormant. Consider a pond heater to prevent it from freezing over in the winter. Alternatively, float a ball on the water to prevent it fully freezing.
For water features, it is best to switch them off, empty them, and then cover up. If the temperatures drop really low, the water in the feature could freeze, which could damage the pump. It is also advisable to switch off sprinklers and empty water from the pipes to prevent them from freezing and rupturing.
Protect Your Plants
Fall is the time to plant any spring bulbs, but if you are going to do this, it is a good idea to consider covering the soil with some dead leaves or mulch. You can even purchase nutrient-rich bark to cover the top soil and prevent a deep freeze. This will ensure the protection for the plants.
Now is also the time to prune the dead growth on any perennial plants that you have. You should also prune wayward branches on your trees to improve their shape and encourage growth in the spring. To protect your trees from frost, consider wrapping the trunks. This is especially useful for trees with thin bark. You can buy paper tree wrap, which can be quickly removed in the spring.
Getting your yard ready for the winter requires a little bit of time and effort but it will be well worth it come springtime. Cleaning outdoor furniture and covering it up will ensure it is ready for use again when the harsh winter season is over.
You should also take steps to prevent freezing temperatures from affecting your plants and water features.