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How to prepare your garden for winter

Your beautiful garden furniture is now in storage, the BBQ is already gathering dust and the flowers are starting to wilt. Melancholy as the turning of the seasons can be, we can all get excited for cosy jumpers, crunching leaves and pumpkin spice lattés, but not before you’ve safeguarded your garden for winter!

The frosty mornings approaching will be legion, so to protect the garden and ensure it’s just as beautiful come next spring, here is our guide for leaving your garden ready for spring!

1. Good riddance to bad rubbish

Clear out the compost heap ready for the annual pre-winter plant clear-up, which always means a huge amount of plant material. If it’s not quite ready yet, create a new heap – because extra compost always comes in handy!

2. Maintain lawns

As you’re not lounging out on it for some time, the lawn is clear to receive some TLC. If moss is encroaching on a large scale, you might need to use a moss killer. Otherwise, simply use a rake, and chuck the debris into the composter. Your soil can become damaged and compacted if some areas of your lawn tend to get a lot of water, but drainage can be easily improved by using a garden fork to make holes every 10cm or so around the area. While you’re at it, lay down some lawn feed!

3. Tidy borders

Heart-rending though it is, dig up those annuals and put them in the compost. You can replant them with winter bedding like wallflowers, bellis or pansies in preparation for a colourful spring. Any perennials need to be cut to around 5cm. Resist the temptation to be overzealous; some have lovely seed heads which look beautiful covered in autumn dew! When you’re satisfied that everything is tidy in the flower beds, add a layer of compost.

4. Horticultural hygge

If you’ve got particularly sensitive plants, you can actually purchase a fleece to wrap them up in! You could even use an old fleece jumper to put over the plant. It seems very daft, but if it’ll help them survive the winter, nothing sounds like a bad idea!

5. Laying down the lawn

As you’re not lounging out on it for some time, the lawn is clear to receive some TLC. If moss is encroaching on a large scale, you might need to use a moss killer. Otherwise, simply use a rake, and chuck the debris into the composter. Your soil can become damaged and compacted if some areas of your lawn tend to get a lot of water, but drainage can be easily improved by using a garden fork to make holes every 10cm or so around the area. While you’re at it, lay down some lawn feed!

6. Make it evergreen

The more evergreens you have, the better your garden will look in winter. It’d be a shame to only have a garden to be proud of six months of the year. Warm soil and cool weather make autumn ideal to fill up your borders. If you’re unsure what to plant for year-round colour, daphne and sarcococca have bright green leaves, so get to work!

7. Pond care

Decomposing matter can block pond filters, leave the whole display looking ugly and cause a lot of work to clean in the spring. Placing a net over the pond is really simple and will save you work later on. Just pin it down with bricks to catch falling leaves – which you can then add to the ever-growing compost heap!

8. Autumn-clean the greenhouse

Yep, we’ve saved the worst until last. However, few household jobs are more satisfying than a good declutter. Remove your plants before giving the greenhouse a good sweep and get busy with garden disinfectant to clean up the surface and inside glass. Do this on a dry day so the greenhouse can ventilate until dry, preventing pests and diseases over the winter.

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