As the weather starts cooling down, your garden starts to slowly grow dormant as well. However, before you pack away the gardening tools until spring comes along again, there are still some things that you can do to ensure that your garden is ready for winter and that it has a head start on the new growing season. Here’s everything you need to know. For more information, just have a chat with your local garden maintenance
Mulch, Mulch, Mulch!
Mulching your garden beds is recommended at any time of the year but it is especially helpful in the winter. The mulch will help to protect your plants from the cold weather and the potential frosts that occur. As well, it will slowly decompose over winter, adding much needed nutrients back into the soil, so that when you add your new plants in spring, they’ll be going into a much richer, healthier soil and will grow better right from the start!
Do a Big Weeding Job
Before you abandon your garden for the winter, do a huge weeding job, pulling out each and every weed that you can see and/or treating them with a weed killing product. This can be time consuming but it’s actually a very good idea. Pulling out the weeds while they are somewhat dormant will reduce the risk of seeds or spores spreading and taking root elsewhere in the garden. This means that you won’t have a huge crop of weeds waiting for you in the spring!
Start a New Compost Heap
It doesn’t matter if you already have a compost heap or not, this is the perfect time to start a new compost heap. You can put in the grass clippings from your lawn, any leaves that have fallen from your trees, plant cuttings, shredded paper, and your household scraps (not meat, dairy or other vermin attractors though), and they’ll slowly break down to create a lovely, rich compost that you can use in the spring.
Planting and Maintenance
You might think that autumn is a terrible time to start planting things but it’s actually quite good, if you do it correctly. Autumn is the perfect time to plant those beautiful bulbs as well as any bare rooted shrubs or trees that you may have. It’s also the time to divide up perennials, giving you extra plants for absolutely nothing! If you’ve got plants that you love but they don’t seem to be working where they are, take the opportunity to transplant them to somewhere new in the garden.
It’s also the right time to do those essential gardening maintenance tasks such as removing old plants, and getting rid of dead and diseased leaves or branches. While most plants shouldn’t be pruned as that encourages them to grow, you can cut back a lot of your perennials quite savagely as this will encourage them to grow bushier and healthier once the weather warms up.
Put Your Gardening Tools Away
Once you’ve done all the little jobs that you need to do, it’s time to put your gardening tools away for the winter. That doesn’t mean just dumping them in the shed or garage, however. Take the time to clean them properly, removing the dirt, sap, and other gunk that’s collected on them over time. Oil the blades of the tools where necessary before putting them away. Clean tools will last longer, keep a sharper edge and, best of all, be ready to go straightaway when you need them again!