As crisp autumn winds increasingly make an appearance during our days in the backyard, every discerning gardener knows now is the perfect time to prepare our garden for the oncoming chill.
Preparing your Garden for Winter: Our Top Tips
This season is all about paring back and taking stock of the year’s successes while bracing for a few months of cold before starting over again. Here are some of our favourite ways of packing up for winter.
Make A Spot of Autumn Cleaning
If you’re new to gardening, you might be wondering where to start when assessing how to prepare your garden for winter. The easiest way to kick things off is with the big autumn clear-out, which is best done before you tackle the overwintering of your tender plants, and before you begin paring back borders and established plants. To keep your greenhouse in good condition over winter, empty it and air it out to dry. Trapped moisture will freeze and damage structures while encouraging fungus and rot to develop, so this is a key step for those of you with greenhouses. Disinfecting as much of the inside and removing all plant debris from the summer will also help to keep the space safe for overwintering plants. Take advantage of having more space by cleaning your plastic garden pots and tools.
Tidying Borders for Spring
When preparing a garden for winter, borders need a little rearrangement. Not only does this help to keep things clean for the coming months, but it means your space will be primed for new growth once spring settles in. Dig up your annuals and replant the beds with spring-flowering plants and bulbs. Fading perennials can be cut back to just above ground level so they can take on new growth after winter. Spreading fresh compost or chippings can help restabilise the soil after a summer of growth. If you have a compost bin, using accumulated matter now will ensure your recycling process will continue as your garden becomes increasingly self-sustaining.
Overwintering Tender Plants
Plants like dahlias and cannas need to be pulled up and stored appropriately before the first frost. Tubers and rhizomes are best kept dry in sand or unwatered compost in a dark space before being replanted in the spring.
Prepare Winter Vegetables
Winterizing vegetable gardens is vital for anyone hoping to continue growing food once the cold has passed. Onions, garlic, and shallots demand little space and attention over winter, though you will need to ensure they are properly labelled so you don’t disturb them as you begin replanting in the spring. Sowing perpetual spinach on weekly cycles will help you grow a regular crop throughout winter and well into spring, just make sure to prevent it from bolting! Be sure to check out what other plants can use the free space in your plot now you’ve had a clear-out.
As you can see, there is no shortage of tasks to keep you busy over the coming weeks. It can be easy to get downhearted as you watch summer’s growth fade away, but getting stuck into winterizing your garden can be equally as rewarding! Your garden will thank you for keeping it in great condition during the year’s harshest months.