TG Escapes Blog
How to protect your garden during the winter months
This is a guest article written by Fiona Kirkcaldy from eDecks
Have you spent all summer carefully nurturing your garden? Don’t let your hard work go to waste when winter strikes! With a little preparation you can protect your garden when the frost hits to ensure that you’ll have beautiful blooms in the summer. The best time to start the preparations is during the autumn before the ground freezes over. To help you to keep your garden safe this winter, follow our practical tips for preparing your garden for the frost:
· Tidy Your Garden
Autumn is to gardens what spring is to houses, so grab your gloves and get ready to give your garden an autumn clean! When your garden goes into hibernation during the winter months it will become extremely susceptible to disease. Prevent this from happening by pulling up dying annual flowers and vegetables to prevent bacteria and insect eggs harbouring during the winter.
· Add a Winter Mulch
When the temperatures start to drop it may seem that your garden has died away but perennials, bulbs and shrubs which survive the frost are busy gathering nutrients until the ground freezes. To help to protect bulbs and feed nutrients into the soil, spread a thick layer of mulch or compost over the soil. If you have trees in your garden, collect the fallen leaves now and add them to the compost heap to create a nutrient rich mulch. Gardener’s World has great advice on easy ways to create a leaf pile. Remember not to spread your winter mulch too early as rodents might end up nesting amongst the leaves. Wait until the cold sets in as rodents will have already built their winter nests by that time.
· Cover Delicate Plants and Evergreens
Protect evergreen plants and make the last of your summer garden bloom longer by creating a winter shelter. Hardy evergreens will still need some shelter from the harsh winter winds so protect them by setting up cloth screens around the plants. Remember to leave some exposure to the elements so that plants can soak up the fleeting winter sun. If you act now, a good winter shelter like a cold frame can act as a makeshift greenhouse and prolong the lifespan of surviving summer plants for up to a month.
· Protect Your Saplings
During the winter, young trees become the fodder of choice for rabbits and rodents. Protect saplings by installing wire mesh around the tree trunks so that animals can’t gain access to the tender bark. To create an effective wire mesh wrap, curl the mesh around the tree and plant the wire mesh 2-3 inches into the ground. Alternatively, plastic tubes can also be used to protect newly planted saplings. Simply plant the tube into the ground and let the tree grow inside it.
· Defrost Garden Paths
Don’t forget to keep yourself safe while you’re out in the garden this winter! Slippery garden paths have been the downfall of many good gardeners during the winter! The best way to protect yourself is to use a heavy duty shovel to clear away the snow and slush before it freezes. However, if your path already resembles an ice rink, carefully spread rock salt along the path to quickly melt the ice. Remember to always wear sturdy boots with a good grip while working in your garden during the winter to cut down the risk of slipping on unseen black ice.
Byline: Fiona is an avid gardener and writes for eDecks.co.uk. For wire mesh, rock salt and more, head to eDecks.co.uk for a large selection of discount garden supplies.
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