As winter approaches, it's time to prepare your UK garden for the cold, wet, and frosty weather that lies ahead. Protecting your garden, including wooden furniture and buildings, is essential to ensure everything survives the harsh conditions and remains in good shape for the next spring.
In this blog, we'll provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to safeguard your garden from the winter weather.
Before you start any winter preparations, it's crucial to give your garden a thorough cleanup. Remove fallen leaves, dead plants, and any debris to prevent mould and pests from taking hold. Trim back any overgrown or damaged branches from trees and shrubs to prevent them from breaking under heavy snow.
If you have wooden garden buildings such as sheds, playhouses, or gazebos, they need extra care too:
Insulate: Insulating the walls and roof of your wooden garden building can help maintain a more stable temperature inside. This can be especially beneficial if you use the building for storage or as a workshop.
Check for Leaks: Inspect the building for any leaks in the roof or walls. Repair them promptly to prevent rain and snow from entering.
Ventilation: Adequate ventilation is crucial to prevent condensation inside the building. Ensure vents are clear and unobstructed.
Mulching: Apply a thick layer of mulch around the base of your plants once nighttime temps start to regularly hit below freezing to insulate the roots and retain moisture. Use organic mulch like compost, straw, or bark chips and make sure you remove it once the weather starts to warm up and the threat of frost has passed.
Wrapping: Tender plants that can’t be easily transported to a warmer space may need extra protection. Once the first frost warnings are issued, consider wrapping them in fleece, hessian, bracken, straw, polystyrene or burlap to shield them from the cold. Remember to remove the wraps in milder weather to prevent rotting.
Move potted plants: If you have potted plants, bring them indoors or place them in a sheltered area to prevent root damage from freezing temperatures.
To maintain a thriving lawn throughout the autumn months, it is crucial to keep an eye on the weather forecast. Grass continues to grow even in low temperatures so a thorough mow before the wet weather sets in is a must. Additionally, be diligent in raking fallen leaves, as they have the potential to obstruct sunlight and hinder proper airflow, which can encourage the proliferation of diseases and mould. Create a compost heap with your leaves for free, nutrient rich compost for the following year.
Prepare for blustery, windy weather by securing or moving your potted plants and fixing any climbers to their supports and trellises. Also, take the opportunity to do any final pruning of any thick stems giving them the best chance of regenerating come Spring.
Now is also an ideal moment to tidy up your pond before the water temperature drops to an uncomfortable level. Consider placing netting over the pond to prevent debris from falling in that could lead to poor water quality.
Wooden furniture can be especially vulnerable to winter weather. Here's how to protect it:
Clean and Dry: Start by cleaning your wooden furniture thoroughly. Remove any dirt, moss, or mildew that may have accumulated during the year. Allow the furniture to dry completely.
Protective Coating: Apply a protective coating of wood preservative or sealant to prevent moisture from penetrating the wood.
Cover or Store: Consider covering your wooden furniture with waterproof covers to shield it from rain and snow. Alternatively, if you have storage space, move the furniture indoors for the winter.
Protecting your UK garden from the winter weather is essential to ensure it thrives come spring. By following these steps to safeguard your plants, furniture, and garden buildings, you can enjoy a healthy and vibrant garden year-round. Remember, a little effort now can save you a lot of trouble in the long run, and your garden will thank you for it when the warm weather returns.