With temperatures dropping and the first frost well and truly here, many of us are now wrapping up warm, turning on the heating and getting into full winter-mode. Whilst we prepare for the winter season, it’s time for us to also pay close attention to our gardens, as these can take quite a hit during the cold weather. But, with so many tasks to do, where’s best to start? Here are 4 essential gardening tasks to do over the winter in order to prepare your garden for spring – when it arrives!
Remove Seasonal Plants
Seasonal plants, such as sweet peas, poppies and snapdragons, are popular choices for gardeners in the summer, but they do not survive in the winter months. Whilst digging them up might feel counter-productive, they are particularly difficult to look after and maintain over the winter. It is much more productive to dig them up and add to your compost heap. If you still want to add colour and texture to your garden over the winter, then use winter plants and flowers instead – just swap out the summer plants for winter ones.
Cover Up Ponds
Covering up your pond during the winter is a great time-saving exercise. The winter months bring rain, snow, wind and frost and these weathers can cause water features and ponds to get filled with debris, garden matter and decay which can cause blockages, mould and mildew and undesirable smells as it rots. By clearing out and covering your pond before winter truly takes over reduces the amount of work which you will need to do to it in the spring. Plus, you also protect local wildlife and help them survive during the winter, as unfortunately, many animals get stuck in frozen or debris-filled ponds over the winter when looking for water.
Store Away Furniture
If you’ve invested in some good quality sustainable garden furniture, then you want to ensure that it lasts you for many years. Many of us forget about our garden furniture in the winter, but the extreme weather can cause cracks, mould and general wear and tear, even when you’re not using it. If you can, store it away in a garage or outhouse. If you can’t, then get some waterproof sheeting to cover it with and make sure it is well-secured.
Not many gardeners enjoy weeding – it is the ultimate gardener’s nemesis. But, by investing your time now by carrying out a full de-weeding of your garden, you won’t have such a huge task when spring rolls around again. Whether you need to clear out the flower bed, get rid of irritating weeds inbetween your patio or decking or take care of your lawn, be sure to get really stuck in. If you decide to use weed killer, be aware of the effects it may have on your other garden plants and wildlife.