6 Tasks to Prepare Your Garden for Winter
Gardening is a year round job as your lawn and plants still need care and attention, even in the coldest months of the year. November is the time to safeguard your plants from frost, clear the leaves and prune trees, so that you can keep up the appearance of your outdoor space. Unsure where to start? Here are six priority tasks from Madingley Mulch, who supply high quality gardening products, including lawn top dressing, to customers in Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Essex.
Clearing the Leaves
A top task before the onset of winter is to clear the leaves off your lawn. This keeps your lawn neat and tidy, prevents mould and ensures your lawn can ‘breathe’ so you can enjoy healthier grass in spring. You can either use a leaf rake to do this, or you can save money and space in your shed by investing in a high quality universal rake, such as our soil rake. Alternatively, to make the task easier, you can run over the leaves with a lawn mower. If your mower has a grass collection box, the shredded leaves can be collected for composting.
Pruning your trees is an important task, as it helps keep them in shape and promotes faster regrowth in spring. Late autumn is the ideal time to do this as the lack of foliage will make the shape of the tree more visible. A top tip is to start with the dead and broken branches first, then selectively trim the smaller branches to improve the light and air flow. Tools you would need for the task include a tree pruner, with either a large or extending handle, or a lopper, which is rather like big secateurs. You can carry out this task yourself if you can keep both feet on the ground while you are pruning. For larger and more mature trees, however, it is always best to play it safe and call on the services of a professional tree expert.
Caring for Your Lawn
November is also the time to concentrate on your lawn. Start by removing the thatch (old grass clippings) with a rake as this will help strengthen the grass; any waste can go on the compost heap. The next step would be to get rid of any moss with a moss killer, then aerate the grass by punching holes in the lawn with a rake. This will reduce compaction on frequently used areas and improve drainage. To promote healthy grass growth, follow this up by with a lawn top dressing, spread evenly in a thin layer. This will also help even out the surface of the lawn and improve the quality of the soil over time.
This is another important gardening task as it protects plant roots from dramatic changes in temperature, improves drainage, and puts nutrients back into the soil. You might want to start by neatening the edges of your borders first, so they look tidy and presentable, before spreading an even layer of bark chippings or compost on your beds. You don’t need to mix this layer into the soil, just leave it to rot down over time.
Caring for Your Plants
It is a good idea to protect your most vulnerable plants (such as dahlias and begonias) from frost by replanting them in tubs and storing them in the greenhouse over winter. November is also the ideal month to plant tulip and daffodil bulbs, as it will give your garden a wonderful blast of colour when they flower in spring. Another top tip is to bubble wrap large planters to protect your plants during harsh weather. Your smaller pots can be raised on bricks to improve drainage.
Feeding the Birds
If you don’t want to neglect your feathered friends over winter, now is the time to give your bird table a good scrub and hang seed out for them to peck at. You can either buy or make your own bird feeders with nuts and lard: it is easy to do and you can be as creative as you like with your design. Just make sure the feeders are regularly topped up throughout the season, so the birds don’t go hungry.
Cambridgeshire-based Madingley Mulch supplies a full range of outdoor supplies, including bags of bark, mulch, soils, compost, aggregates, lawn top dressing and winter fuel to customers in the surrounding area. Just click on the link above to view our complete range of products and order online.
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