Winter is coming and it’s taking no prisoners. With the 2021 forecast to be an incredibly cold one, you really can’t waste any time when it comes to ensuring your garden is prepared for the frost to come so that it can emerge fresh and floral in the spring.
With that in mind, here are a few tasks and winter gardening hacks that you should be doing around the garden right now before the cold weather really sets in.
Install a weather station
If you have installed the outdoor weather station, you will get many benefits. Firstly, it can track total rainfall (A garden weather station comes pre-installed with a rain gauge).
By knowing the amount of rainfall that happened, you can estimate how much more watering is needed. If the rain gauge has detected that a solid rain has occurred in your place the previous night, then great.
Save some time by not watering your garden the same day again; apart from this, using a garden weather station, you can also monitor the different weather conditions and do your irrigation accordingly.
One of the first things you should be doing is clearing away anything that could create more mess throughout December and January. Get into your shed and your greenhouse and remove everything that doesn’t need to be there. This means getting rid of all those pots you were “always going to do something” with, sweeping the floors to get rid of any debris and cleaning the sides so that pests and fungal infections don’t start to spread.
De-leaf the lawn
Remember to get rid of all those pesky leaves. They make a wonderful compost when broken down but not if they’re just scattered all over your lawn. Buy a leaf blower if you want to make the job quick and fun!
Remove dead plants
Of course, you should start by removing any invasive weeds but you must also dispose of any plants that have died and are starting to rot as part of your winter garden preparations. It’s true that this can lead to nutrients that will benefit your soil but it can also lead to disease and rot.
Tidy paths and paving
One of the main winter garden burdens you might have noticed in years past is water getting into the cracks in your paving and then freezing. This always leads to cracks and eventually tile replacement. Paths can also get incredibly slipping when the frost sets in but if you give them a really good scrubbing with hot soapy water, it will keep the slabs from getting too dangerous to walk on.
Maintain your borders
Keeping your borders neat and tidy not only looks good but will keep the neighbours at bay. Get rid of any dead or dying foliage and clip the edges of your lawn so they look neat and symmetrical. Once the grass stops growing it will hopefully maintain this shape until the spring.
Plant your bulbs early
While most plants won’t start flowering until the spring there are many that start to take root in the winter such as snowdrops and daffodils. Plant them with some bonemeal for a slow release of nutrients over the winter months and space them apart adequately and, come March, you’ll be laughing.