Tips to Prepare Your Garden for Winter

Winter may be one of the most vibrant and colourful times of year for foliage, but the increasingly cold weather can make it tempting to just close the backdoor on the garden and admire it from the cosy warmth of the indoors until spring.

However, while there are still some sunshine hours left, this is one of the best times of year to get outdoors, enjoy the crisp fresh air and crunch of leaves underfoot and get your garden ready to survive the winter and thrive in spring.

Here are the four key areas to tackle:

Lawncare

Lawns can suffer in the colder, wetter months so keep yours in good shape by giving it some TLC now.

  • Rake the surface of your lawn to remove embedded moss and debris and use a quality leaf blower to clear fallen leaves which can block out the air and sunlight your lawn needs to maintain its health. If you don’t have a compost bin or heap – now is the time to get one!
  • If your lawn looks lacklustre, wait until it’s had a good drenching from a wintery downpour before mowing it with your blades on the highest setting. If necessary, you can give it a boost with some seasonal lawn feed or fertiliser.
  • If you notice during rainy spells that water pools on the surface of your lawn, improve drainage by puncturing those areas with a garden fork.

Borders and Fencing

As foliage begins to disappear from your trees and shrubs, accessing your perimeter fencing and sheds gets easier.

  • Brush down the surface of any wooden sheds or fencing to clear leaves, weeds and general debris that has gathered over the spring and summer.
  • Inspect fencing for signs of damage, wear or instability, particularly around any post bases. Then repair or replace any loose or broken panels to make sure that your fence will comfortably withstand the winter winds.
  • Protect wooden fencing or sheds from becoming weakened or rotten by the coming rains by giving them a coat of exterior paint or wood preservative now.

Borders

Attractive borders can make or break the aesthetics of your garden so if any plants have failed to thrive this year or have become overcrowded, this is the time to make a few changes and get borders ready to flourish in 2017.

  • Dig up any annuals, cut back perennials and remove any dead heads, leaves and general surface debris. Take care to add any waste to your compost bin or heap, it can be a valuable source of nutrients next spring.
  • Relocating plants can be stressful to them and affect growth but during the beginning of Winter most become dormant, making this the ideal time to transplant them. By the time the warm weather returns and dormancy ends, they will be settled in their new locations and ready to grow.
  • Give soil a generous covering of organic mulch, compost, manure or bark chippings to protect plant roots from frost and limit opportunities for weeds to grow.

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Gardening Equipment

Maintaining a beautiful garden often relies on having the right tools or equipment for the job, but a gardener’s toolkit can be costly to build so take care of your equipment by tending to it now.

  • If your shed or outdoor storage space has become cluttered or disorganised, have a clear out and find a home for all your tools and equipment.
  • Give everything a thorough clean with a coarse brush and a wet cloth to remove dirt and debris, and oil the blades of any shears, mowers or chainsaws to prevent them from seizing up or becoming rusty over the winter.
  • Hang any wooden-handled tools or hoses up off the shed floor to prevent mice or critters nesting among them and causing damage.
  • If any of your tools or garden machinery need servicing or repairs, book them in with a specialist now.

You can get further advice on specific garden issues or order all of the garden supplies, equipment and accessories you need to get your garden ready for winter, online from the outdoor environment specialists at Chelford Farm Supplies.

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