If you have worked hard on your garden all year, you don’t want all that effort to be undone by the ravages of the cold winter weather. By taking some steps now, you’ll be able to protect your landscape from any winter damage. Here’s everything you need to know in order to prepare your precious outdoor space for the long, dark days ahead!
Mulch and bark are your two best friends during the winter months. Liberal application around trees, plants and shrubs will protect their roots from the harsh winter freezes, thaws and winds. Mulch and bark will dramatically reduce the amount of water lost from the soil during the colder months, too. Mulching should be done in late autumn or spring, making it a job that’s easy to fit into most gardener’s schedules.
Trim the lawn
Secondly, be sure to give your lawn one last trim if you haven’t done so already. You’ll want to aim for a length around 5-6 centimetres. This will not only protect any new growth from frost and ice – it will also stop it from becoming a feeding spot for pests as well. Never mow your grass when it is wet or frosty, as this can damage the surf and compact the soil. You’ll want to wait for a dry winter’s day before you get the mower out.
Ice is not only dangerous, but it can play havoc with your garden. It’s a good idea to get rid of it as soon as it builds up. A shovel does do the trick, but you’ll want to be careful that you don’t damage the earth or chip any paving while you’re disposing of the hard, treacherous layer that’s sitting on top of your landscape.
Be sure to sprinkle affected areas with de-icing salt to prevent any cracking; this can be a particularly irksome problem with porous paving. To avoid any panic when frosty weather strikes unexpectedly, stock up on plenty of de-icing salt now so you’re well-prepared.
Be sure to keep on top of pruning during the late dormant season. Pruning plants towards the end of the winter will allow you trim just before the new spring growth comes in. Leaving it this late will mean that freshly trimmed edges will only be exposed to the harsh winter weather for a short amount of time before the growth cycle starts afresh. This dormant phase is usually between November and March, depending on the type of plant you’re working with.
Trees seem pretty tough on the surface, but like all of your garden’s natural features, they need some TLC too. If you have some beautiful trees in your garden, be sure to protect them from both the weather and wild animals during the winter. Rabbits and rodents take a particular liking to young tree bark in the chillier parts of the year, and this can cause extensive damage when left to their own devices. A tree guard made of plastic or metal wire will do the trick nicely.
For complete protection, start winter-proofing your garden sooner rather than later
Now that you know how to protect your garden during the winter months, there’s no reason why your landscape won’t make it through the cold weather intact. If you haven’t done so yet, go and stock up on all the essentials that you need and get to work this weekend. Come next spring, your outdoor landscape will thank you for your hard work and pre-planning!