Hopefully during the summer months you will be using your lawn for BBQs, picnics, and all sorts of other activities. During the winter weather, it is best to let your lawn have a rest. As far as possible, try to employ a ‘keep off the grass’ policy to allow your lawn to deal with the harsh conditions without interruption. Obviously, if there are some weeds to deal with then that’s a different matter – but tread carefully!
With all the leaves that will have fallen during Autumn, the colder months are perfect for giving your compost heap a boost. Continue to add compostable waste to your heap, and stir it up to speed the process along. The damp conditions will help composting, and will ensure that you have a nutritious heap when you need it most.
Some herbs, including lavender, bay, and olive, don’t react well to the cold conditions. Whilst much of your garden will fight through the bitterness, some plants will need to be brought inside. The best advice is to research how your particular herbs usually fare in winter and make plans accordingly!
Winter is traditionally a very tough time for the birds that visit your garden. Not only do they struggle to find food, but when the conditions are freezing they also struggle to find water. To allow the birds to access water, ensure that your birdbath or pond doesn’t completely freeze over for long periods of time. Good year-round bird life will keep insects and slugs at bay, so it is in the interest of your garden too!
Small garden animals need shelter during freezing weather, and you can help by creating leaf piles in the corners of your garden. This also gives birds an ideal place to forage for insects. You can also help birds with their nests in late Winter by putting out fur from your dog grooming! It provides great material for a safe and warm nest.
Autumn and winter are great times to plant new shrubs and trees. With the soil moist from the Autumn rain, planting hardy trees and shrubs in the harsher months allows them to bed in their roots and establish the perfect platform for successful growth in warmer times.
Winter provides the chance to give your tool collection the once over to make sure they are in great condition for the winter hardship and the following year’s work. Take this opportunity to sharpen the tools that need it, and clean up the grubby ones. And remember, if you need anything replacing, make sure it is on Santa’s list!
If your patio needs cleaning or weeding, Winter provides the perfect opportunity to have a tidy up. Pathways can be cleared of leaves or overgrowth during this period, ensuring that you have a nice clean slate to start from.
This is something that you need to do early if possible, ideally during Autumn. If you can cover your pond with netting, this will stop the worst of the leaf fall getting into the water and rotting. Keeping your pond clean is important, and by using netting you don’t close off the water to birds and garden animals that need it most.
Winter provides the perfect opportunity to take your garden to the next level, ready for the next Spring & Summer. If your garden needs a greenhouse, some new features, or some fresh paving, Winter is the perfect time to consider layout and to give your garden the perfect frame for the coming months.