We might be deep into autumn now but gardeners in the know are still busy outside preparing their garden for the upcoming winter months. We’ve put together our list of what to do in the garden this autumn to make sure your garden stays in tip-top shape this winter.
Don’t Let the Frost Bite
It’s time to bring vulnerable flowers in from the cold. Move your potted plants into your home or greenhouse if you’re planning on using a greenhouse heater, to protect them from the oncoming frost.
If you have delicate plants that can’t be moved, use a light covering like a sheet to protect them at night when temperatures drop.
Plant Spring Bulbs
Spring next year might be the last thing you’d expect on your autumn gardening to-do list but believe it or not, now is the perfect time to plant daffodils and tulip bulbs if you want stunning blooms in the spring. Just make sure they’re buried deep enough in the soil to survive the winter top frost.
Clean Up the Rose Garden
When they start to decay, leaves from your rose plants can harbour nasty bacteria and pathogens which can quickly spread and attack your autumn plants. Strike first by sweeping up any fallen leaves before bacteria gets the chance to spread. Remember not to add these to your much plie to prevent infection spreading.
Tidy Plants for the Winter
Are overgrown plants and bushes making your garden look wild and messy? Before the harsh winter weather sets, take some time to trim back overgrown evergreen hedges and unruly shrubs. Not only is it cold and unpleasant to tidy-up overhanging plants during the winter, but the frosty ground could make it hazardous.
Build a Cold Box
Don’t let the name fool you, a cold box will keep your plants cosy when temperatures plummet. You can pick one up from a garden centre but it isn’t too difficult to make your own if you have some DIY knowhow. Use durable treated timber to construct a box frame and top it off with a lid made from a sheet of glass or plastic.
Mulch Your Boarders
The harsh winter months can strip the nutrients from the soil and leave it void of all the goodness your plants need to thrive in spring. Don’t leave your soil to the mercy of the elements, show it some TLC by adding a layer of mulch. You can buy bags of mulch at garden centres or have a go at making your own by creating a pile of autumn foliage and grass clippings.
Add a Bird Feeder
Birds are your best ally in the fight against garden pests. Keep them around by adding a bird feeder in your garden and provide them with some much needed nuts and seeds when the ground is too hard for them to dig for worms.
Paint Sheds and Fences with a Preserver
It’s your last chance to give your fence, decking or wooden shed a much needed coating of wood preserver. Don’t wait until the wet winter causes rot and mould to appear, add a timber preserver now to save yourself from having to carry out costly and time consuming repair jobs in the spring.
Last Chance to Mow
All gardeners know that when the frosty weather sets in, the last thing you should do is mow your lawn. If your grass is already looking a bit over grown dig out your lawn mower for the last time this year and give your grass (including your lawn edges) a good trim so your garden looks tidy and well-groomed going into winter
Scrub the Greenhouse
Unless you’re planning on using a greenhouse heater, you should be coming to the end of your greenhouse growing period. Remove any debris like withering summer blooms, leaves or vegetables that are past their best, to prevent harbouring bacteria building up over the winter. Since you’re cleaning out your greenhouse anyway, completely empty it and give it a good scrub to remove any pathogens that might be lingering.
Protect Young Saplings
When the frost sets in and it becomes more difficult for animals like rabbits to forage for food, the young bark on your saplings will begin to look pretty tasty! Small animals gnawing at the bark can mean the end for your young saplings but luckily there’s a simple (and cost effective) way to protect your plants. Surrounding your plants with galvanised chicken wire will protect them from any hungry critters that pass through your garden.
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