With Christmas just around the corner, it’s worth having a final tidy up of the garden before hibernating away and enjoying the festivities. Even though your garden may not be quite so appealing during the winter months it is still much nicer to look out on a tidy garden. And a little time spent on simple maintenance jobs now can make life easier for you and your garden in the spring.
Keep Your Garden Tidy
Try to keep leaves off your lawn as they’ll quickly damage your grass and can cause bald patches and fungus to build up. Equally, constant walking on a waterlogged lawn causes damage too, so try to find a balance that suits the conditions. If your lawn is dry enough, rake up the leaves which will also remove moss and improve the condition of your lawn.
Tempting as it may be to dig over your flower beds, treading on waterlogged soil can do more harm than good. Wet soil can get compacted when trodden on or worked and so it is better to wait for a dry spell. If possible, stand on a board to prevent damage to your lawn or border. If you do decide to dig or fork your borders, make sure you don’t damage any bulbs lurking under the surface which are preparing themselves for spring.
Compost at home or through your Council scheme.
Gardening in Cold and Weather
Clear dead leaves, plants and flowers to prevent pests and mould becoming a problem next season. Remember though that some bugs are good for your garden and the environment so try to leave a small area for them to hide until spring. A small log pile or even a special “bug house” bought from a garden centre placed in a corner of your garden can offer a home, to our rapidly-declining insect population which are vital for pollinating next seasons flowers and keeping the soil healthy.
Leave a place for wildlife and insects to over-winter.
Most plants can cope with the odd cold spell. However, if you have a sensitive plant or plants in containers it is worth protecting them through a cold-snap. You can go DIY with bubble-wrap, newspaper and straw or visit your local garden centre for horticultural fleece. Take care when wrapping up plants so as not to damage stems, shoots and leaves and remember plants in pots have vulnerable roots too, keep these warm by moving pots together, up against your home or in extreme circumstances moved into a greenhouse, shed or garage.
Make sure that your plants are staked or supported and tied in several places to prevent damage and breaks. Decorative feet for pots make the pots look appealing but also lift them up off the ground to allow water to drain freely. Roots will rot in water-logged pots causing damage or even killing off your plants. Cut back bushes and trees if required so that branches do not cause damage or break off, harming the plant or surroundings.