6 Great Gardening Tips; Preparing Your Garden for Winter
It’s that time of year again, when the leaves start falling off the trees, littering the ground and we can smell the pumpkin spice in the air. I love seeing the changes in colour around us, it makes me feel all cosy and warm. Plus, we know the ‘C’ word is coming…. More on that another time, what about our gardens? They often get neglected over the winter months, so is there preparation which needs to be done for this? Below is our Dorset Companions Gardening Tips Part Two….
1. Tidying up the plants and shrubs
Autumn is an essential month when it comes to pruning some plants and shrubs. For a more thorough look into what to prune and how to do it, head over to this article on Gardener’s World here.
Make sure you pop your gardening gloves on and grab a kneeling pad too if you find that easier. This is a therapeutic job to do, and it is important as it ensures that the shrubs are cut back, ready for the new buds and growth in the new year. It also means in those winter storms; the longer parts are less likely to snap off and damage the plant.
2. Planting ahead for Spring…
Now is a good idea to plant some bulbs, thinking ahead to Springtime. I love to weave different bulbs in… so for example I will spread out some daffodils and in between put some snowdrop bulbs too. The snowdrops will be the first to show, then once they have died, the daffodils will come up. You can then add tulips into the mix too for when the daffodils die off.
If you want to ensure a colourful display around the edging of your garden next year, think about planting some pretty pansies, bellis daisies and wallflowers. You should make sure to dig up your annuals first and also follow up with cutting back faded perennials to roughly 5 centimetres above the ground.
After you have tidied your borders and other planting areas, spread a generous layer of compost, well-rotted manure or bark chips. The worms can do the labour of digging it all in for you!
3. Leaf mould- a new way to dispose of those fallen leaves
Have you heard of leaf mould? The idea behind this is to make something organic and great out of recycled leaves. Once they drop, create a space in your garden that won’t spoil your view of the garden, creating a bin out of wooden stakes and wire mesh. Then when the leaves start to fall, you can empty them into your DIY bin. Over time, the leaves will rot down, creating leaf mould.
Once it has reached its crumbly texture, you can spread this organic mulch throughout the borders of your garden. The trees that tend to rot quicker are; alder, beech, oak and hornbeam. Whereas walnut, horse chestnut and sycamore may take longer. To speed up the process, you can shred the leaves first but usually the leaf mould process takes around two years.
Alternatively, you can also pile up the leaves and then go over them with a lawnmower.
4. Start afresh with your compost bins
If your compost is ready now, it is a great time to use it around your garden as you go about tidying up and planting ready for the Spring cleaning. On your journey of clearing up your borders and flower beds, as well as vegetable plots, you will be gaining a lot of great plant material ready for your compost heap too. So, once you have gathered up the compost ready to use, you can replace it with your next lot of waste.
However, if you’ve come to your compost and it isn’t ready to be used, turn it over to help with the decomposition. Then create a new heap with the fresh lot. Compost is a great way of recycling when it comes to gardening.
5. Cover those ponds!
Although I find the falling of leaves very metaphoric and beautiful, it can be a pain if you are the owner of a pond. That’s why I highly recommend popping a net over it during the autumn/ winter months so that this can be lifted, and the leaves removed easily. You can just pin it down with some bricks, or nice stones or garden ornaments which will fare well over the wet winter months.
6. And finally, a bit of garden tools maintenance!
Now is a great opportunity to do a little maintenance on those garden tools. Get the scrubbing brush out and get them all clean, ready for a fresh Spring of gardening again. When you’re ready to get them out again, you can brush up on our top 12 garden tips here, with some clean tools!
There’s nothing worse than gardening with last season’s dirt.
Gardening help, we love doing the jobs you hate!
I hope that this article has helped you form a list of what you need to tackle this Autumn in order to get your garden ready for the winter months, and the beautiful blooming season which follows. If you need a hand with your garden, get in touch with us at Dorset Companions as we love gardening and helping those who need those extra pair of hands!