Home Style || Collaborative Post
After months of hard work in the garden throughout Spring and Summer, it's now time to think about tidying up for winter. We need to prepare our plants for the colder weather and keep our outside spaces tidy as our beloved plants start to die off for Autumn. As well as keeping things neat, cutting back plants and trees now can help them to flourish more than ever when spring comes around again. There's lots of spring prep to be done at this time of year, as well as clearing out for more winter friendly plants and shrubs.
I thought I'd share some tips for you on just the sort of things we can be doing in the garden and as always, it's a list to keep us busy! These tips should not only help get your garden looking a little better, but also get you ahead of the game when it comes to the cold weather. Any work you put in now, you'll be thankful for later, so let's get going...
As Autumn has only just begun, the leaves aren't causing too much of an issue just yet but they are beginning to fall. Instead of leaving things to get messy (as well as wet and stinky!) give the stray leaves a sweep up every few days to keep on top of things as it's much easier when they are fresher and dry. If you have a compost heap you can add your leaves there, which will provide great nutrients for your soil once they've broken down. Give paths and patio areas a clean with a jet wash to remove any build up. This will make surfaces less likely to get slippery and they will be easier to maintain when the weather gets worse.
If you have a shed or greenhouse, give these a good clean out too so that they are ready to use next time. Also, give hanging baskets, pots and seed trays a clean out (a simple spray with the hose will do) so that they can be re-used for your spring flowers if they won't be used over winter.
Sort your tools
After the summer season comes to an end, it's a good time to do a quick inventory of your tools and garden accessories. By this point you will have a good idea of what has been useful, what's on it's last legs needing replacing and what you need to buy for next year. Whether it's a decent new spade from the DIY store or some serious tools from places like SGS, it's a great time to shop around to be properly tooled up for spring summer next year. Don't be afraid to get rid of unwanted tools, or for anything with some life left that you no longer need, sell on or donate to local projects. Space is always useful, especially with garden storage that tends to be at a premium.
Complete any repairs
Before the weather gets too bad, get to fixing those minor issues in the garden so things don't get worse over winter. Whether it's a fence that needs patching up or something more major, you'll be preventing further damage by sorting these issues now. Get rid of anything that's beyond repair, unless of course you can upcycle it into something new and useful for the garden. Be sure to treat any wood that's in need while we are still getting some warmer dryer days and check timber for any areas in need of a little TLC.
Cut back your trees and shrubs
Before the frost comes, remove any dead foliage or plants that won't come back on their own, clip back trees and shrubs to give them a helping hand for winter. Some plants need special care, so if you aren't sure if now is the right time or how best to clip, have a quick search online for tips specifically for that variety of plant. With perennials, cut them down so that the parts that are past their best are gone, primed to grow back bigger and better next year. Cut bushes back to stay in line with your borders and give all the edges a tidy up too.
Protect your plants
Some potted plants may need removing from the garden and keeping in a warmer area such as your greenhouse or conservatory. Protect delicate trees from that pesky frost my adding mulch around the tree base or even some special horticultural fleece. Again, all plants are different, so if you want to be sure that your favourites plants will be happy over the colder months, have a little Google to make sure! Gardening can be a costly hobby, so the more we can save for the following year the better.
Now is the time to get those beautiful winter pansies in place to add a splash of delicate colour through an otherwise quiet looking garden. Collect up any seeds now that can be put away for next year to get that beautiful array of spring time colour and remember to get your spring bulbs in - any time from October through to December. If you love your home grown veg, you could plant some winter vegetables such as root veg and leafy crops now. When choosing plants for winter, just be sure to read all the labels or do a quick search before you shop to make sure you're buying plants with the highest chance of survival over winter.
Other than that, enjoy the last of the warmer feeling sunshine and making the most of the prettiness before Winter sets in. Although our gardens can look beautiful in the frost, it's not so appealing to sit or dine out there, so get your garden fix now!