Maintaining your garden throughout winter
The winter can be a tough time for garden; as well as frost and snow damage, you can also experience problems with mold and insects getting into soil and causing problems from within; at the same time, you can find that your lawn and other parts of your garden contain dead areas and significant breakage when the weather starts to get better during the Spring.
In this context, it’s worth thinking of some of the ways in which you can successfully maintain and protect your garden throughout the winter.
Inspect Stems and Foliage
For a lot of people, winter time is a period where they take a hands off approach to their garden, with many not doing anything until the weather has improved again. It is important, though, to inspect and regularly maintain your garden during the winter – first, you can inspect stems and foliage for any encroaching signs of disease, while also taking steps to deal with any extreme frost or snow by clearing the worst of it from plants. Laying down organic mulch as an extra form of protection for soil can also add vital nutrients.
Applying a good fertilizer with a high nitrogen count during the winter can mean that your soil and roots continue to receive healthy input, even if the top layer of soil has frozen. The high nitrogen content of this fertiliser can provide vital nutrients to roots where otherwise they might freeze. At the same time, you should look to avoid walking on your lawn, as this can cause extra breakages and dead patches later in the year.
Clean off Snow and Ice
In terms of dealing with snow and ice, make sure that you clear off any particularly heavy snowfall from branches; similarly, check for any debris that may have built up around plant pots and within them, and cut back perennials that have grown out in unusual shapes due to being buried in snow. Covering pots in wire, or moving some flowers and plants into greenhouses can also be a good idea.
One way in which you can try to tackle the cold in your garden, but without spending a lot of money on new fertilizer, can involve building a compost pile using leaves from the Autumn; as these decay, they create a useful organic material that can be added as a top layer to soil – as well as allowing moisture to be absorbed into soil, this mold can also act as a barrier to small animals and insects.
Certain shrubs, and flowers like roses, can benefit from being wrapped in cylinders, where they won’t receive the worst of the cold. It’s also worth taking the time to protect your garden equipment during the winter – lawn mowers should be emptied of oil, and cleaned before being covered in tarps – similarly, make sure that the floor of your shred or garage is properly insulated or covered with plastic or plywood to avoid damp from rising up into equipment.