Landscaping Tips: How To Winter-Proof Your Garden

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Maintaining a garden is hard work. Sadly, many people believe that a garden can be left alone until the Spring. However, this will result in much more work when spring does come.

If you like spending a lot of time in your garden, it’s imperative that you winter-proof it. Perhaps you have plants that you’re fond of that could take a beating from the cold and harsh weather conditions. Now is the time to act so here’s everything you need to know about prepping your garden for winter.

Prune Trees and Shrubs

The best time to do this is during autumn but don’t worry if you’ve left it late. Many shrubs grow but don’t harden out before winter arrives. This means that the new growth will often die throughout the winter so it’s important to keep shrubs trimmed. 

Overgrowth on shrubs or trees can become hazardous in winter. Most gardens become hazardous during winter because of debris and icy conditions. Making sure that your trees and shrubs are not overgrown will ensure that you can remove some of the potential hazards in your garden.

Remove Dying Annuals

Dying or dead annuals are the perfect invitation for pests and disease. They are an ideal hiding place throughout the winter for pests that no-one wants in their garden. They also tend to hold water, stopping it from draining away.

During the winter, you may find that a lot of your garden freezes and thaws, resulting in collected water. By removing your dead annuals, you can reduce the risk of stagnant water that becomes the perfect breeding ground for disease.

Sheds or Weather Frames

Sheds or weather frames are ideal for winter proofing your garden. If you have plants that you want to carry through the winter or you have vegetables that are still growing, you’ll need to keep them warm. The best way to do this is to cover them in a shed or greenhouse.

You can build your own cover to suit your needs. You can find everything you need at Clear Amber Shop to ensure your plants have a suitable roof over their heads. As soon as spring arrives, you can transfer your plants back outside.

Cover Evergreens

This is often something many gardeners don’t think about. Evergreens can be mistaken for study trees but they usually need a helping hand to survive the winter. These beautiful trees enhance any garden scenery but they can be easily damaged by freezing temperatures.

When the temperature dips below freezing, you can cover evergreens with a blanket to protect them from frost. You should also water them regularly so they aren’t trying to absorb freezing water. When the temperature climbs back up, remove the blankets to let the evergreens breathe.

Change Your Grass

Are you sick of watching your grass die throughout the winter? Many gardeners spend the spring and summer months putting hard work into perfecting their lawns, only to watch it fade away during the plummeting temperatures.

If you’re fed up with the same old cycle with your grass, why not think about replacing your usual grass with ornamental grass. Not only will this add a splash of colour to your garden but ornamental grass is much more hard wearing.

Winter Shrubs

Yes, there are shrubs that are specifically designed to handle anything winter can throw at them. These shrubs are called deciduous shrubs. Some examples include lilac bushes and wisteria. In addition to surviving through winter, they also bring some welcome colour.

You can also opt for flowering shrubs that can survive through winter. These include shrubs like juneberry, japanese barberry, or japanese spirea. 

Heated Walkways

Heated walkways can make a huge difference to any garden in the winter. It’s one of the best ways to minimise the risk of slipping on ice. If you spend time in your garden in the winter or use the walkways to cross from one section of your home to another, a heated walkway is certainly worth the investment.

There are multiple ways you can heat your walkways but you should always do it under the advice of a professional. Never try to install a heated walkway as a DIY project.

Use Raised Beds

Raised beds are ideal for keeping your plants healthy during the winter. They are far better for drainage than if you were to keep plants in the ground. The allow your plants to stay dryer and warmer during the coldest temperatures.

They’re also easier to get to if you’re someone who finds it difficult to get down to the ground. Opting for raised beds when you’re growing produce will ensure that everything grows properly and you won’t lose what you’re growing due to harsh weather.

Mulch Your Plants

Mulch is a great form of protection for your plants during the winter. There are many advantages to using mulch around your plants. For instance, it stops weeds from growing through and damaging your plants and flowers. 

It will also help to absorb excess water and therefore stop the ground from freezing. Adding an extra layer of mulch will help to keep your plants warm. You can use sawdust, grass clippings, or even leaves to make up your mulch during the winter.

Use Lime On Your Lawn

For many people, their lawns are their pride and joy. A lawn can make a garden look luscious when it’s at its best but it can also make it look dull at its worst. Using lime on your lawn during spring and summer will help it to keep its luscious green shine during the winter.

Lime acts as a natural fertiliser that encourages grass to grow all year round. It’s also a low maintenance job. A quick spray across your lawn and you’re free to move onto other aspects of your garden.

Dethatching and Aerating

Although this is not quite as simple as fertilising your lawn with lime, it is an essential job. If you want your lawn to be as healthy as possible, dethatching and aerating is a must. Dethatching is what takes the top layer of dead grass away from your lawn, allowing for fresh growth.

Aerating is the act of removing plugs from your lawn which allows the grass to get as much oxygen as it needs to be healthy. You’ll need a dethatching rake and core aerators. The bigger your lawn, the longer this job will take.

Nourish The Soil

It’s difficult to protect soil during the winter. It often takes the brunt of the harsh weather but it’s also essential for all growth, whether plants, trees, or grass. The best way to protect your soil is to prepare it for the spring.

The more nourishment your soil has, the more likely it will be ready for when spring arrives. To do this, make sure your soil is fertilised and has all the nutrients it needs to welcome new plants when the time is right.

DIY Covers

Just like evergreens, everything in your garden can be covered if you find that easier. Rather than worrying about whether your favourite plant will make it through the winter, you can cover as much of your garden as you like. Use breathable materials and cut them to size for each plant or shrub.

Be sure to let your garden life have some time without their covers. Wait for milder days when the temperature is up slightly to give your garden some breathing space. When the forecast slips below freezing, cover your garden for protection.

Don’t Forget About Your Garden

The most important thing you can do is come to the realisation that your garden will take just as much work in the winter as it does in the spring. Your garden will need your tender loving care when the cold temperatures hit and it will be important to keep an eye on what is happening in your garden.

Take the time to walk through your garden and look around for any areas needing attention. It could be draining water that has gathered in a specific area or working to defrost a plant that has been overtaken by ice. Some gardeners notice that potted plants tend to find winter harsher and take them indoors to nurse them back to health.

Keeping your garden alive, safe, and vibrant during the winter months isn’t easy but it can be done if you’re willing to put the work in. If you have tropical plants or want produce to continue to grow throughout the winter, you may want to insulate your shed or greenhouse to offer a warmer environment than most plant houses usually would.

Winter-proofing a garden isn’t for the faint of heart but you’ll be glad to have done the work by the time spring arrives. If you’ve found this article helpful, take a look at the others.

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