If you thought the gardening season was over, think again – it’s worth making sure your garden really is winter ready.
Clear dead leaves
With leaves well and truly falling now, make it a habit to gather dead ones regularly. This helps to avoid rot which can damage woodwork as well as plants and shrubs. It’ll also help to avoid slippery paths and stubborn stains.
Burning dead leaves is generally permitted, but keep fires small and under control.
Take some time to remove any remaining deadheads from plants. This will help to encourage better growth and healthy blooms come spring.
Protect container plants
The roots of container plants are particularly vulnerable to frost. Before the temperatures start to dip below zero, move them up against the house if possible or cover the containers with insulating material for better protection.
Given the typical autumn weather we can expect in this area, it is likely that nature will take care of watering. Don’t overwater plants and make sure they have good drainage. If a cold snap is predicted, extra watering can help – it allows plants to take up moisture before the ground is frozen and prevents water from reaching the root zone. Make sure you hydrate above ground as well as the roots.
Windproof your garden
Here in North Wales, strong winds and gales are to be expected throughout autumn and winter. Ensure that covers on garden furniture are sufficiently weighted down and try to store furniture and other items in the most sheltered part of your garden. It’s also a good idea to check that rigid roofing is firmly held in place.
Tether your trampoline
Trampolines are extremely vulnerable during high winds. If storms are forecast, it is recommended to anchor them down using suitable ground stakes. Special kits can be ordered online and are a small price to pay for peace of mind and the damage that can be caused.
Even a slight leak in the roof of your shed can cause severe damp and mould problems. It is generally too damp at this time of year to completely reroof a felt roof, but you can still patch leaking areas using felt and bitumen glue when there is a suitably dry spell. For other types of roof, use a sealant recommended by the manufacturer to deal with cracks. If you have had a leak, ensure all damp items are removed until dry. It’s also advisable to avoid leaving absorbent materials, such as cardboard and textiles in outdoor storage.
Article and images kindly provided by J. Allan Longshadow of wordworx.