Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Seasonal To-Do List - Winter

It is a busy time of the year at the moment, with Christmas looming ahead, presents need buying and arrangements to see distant family need organising, even rushing to complete those last few jobs that need doing before you go on Christmas break.

Topiary in snow

However, do not neglect getting your garden ready as a little bit of preparation now can make sure that come spring your garden will be ready to go!


1. Prune/Trim
The First thing we suggest is to look at the Plants in your garden, more specifically the shrubs in your borders, they will be the first to suffer in the cold winter weather. Trim the plants in your border and make sure to remove any dead or dying branches as if not removed they could be a great place for problems to arise with diseases.

2. Protect
Trimming is just one thing to do, but any plants that are not winter hardy or potted plants in your garden, it might be best to wrap them up with an old towel to try to trap as much heat in the soil as you do not want the roots to freeze and damage the roots.

3.Planting
There are many things you can look at planting as you now probably have very bare spots in your garden after your trimming, you might want to fill it in with a few winter flowering plants or even just some plants that look great over winter despite being deciduous. 

Be warned, you might be tempted to feed these new plants once they go in, however that may cause more damage at this time of the year as the plants will try to use the new food to grow soft new shoots which can be damaged by frost, so just make sure to give a good feed in spring and trim the frostburnt areas in spring.

I would suggest looking at Winter flowering plants like Hellebores, Heathers or Skimmias as they will bloom and look great over Winter, also the simple Dogwood (Cornus) or Witch Hazel (Hamamelis) will provide year round interest as the Dogwood will have bright colourful stems on them through winter and the Witch Hazel will have yellow/orange "spider-like" flowers through Winter as you can see below.

 
Picture of Cornus plants


4. Bulbs
Now is the time to be getting those Winter bulbs in the ground such as Tulips, most other bulbs will have already been planted by now, generally in September. To plant tulips you would want to select a warm and sunny site with plenty of drainage as the plants themselves are used to a dryer summer climate.

Tulips can also be planted in containers, just make sure to plant as about three times the depth of the bulb and about one bulb width apart from each other and make sure to check the bulbs regularly over winter to make sure the soil is not drying out.

5.Lawn
The Lawn is often overlooked once you have trimmed it for the last time of the year as it will not grow so a lot of people just leave the lawn until next Spring however there is a little more that should be done to get it winter-ready. 

Firstly you will want to Trim the edges of the lawn, if it has grown a bit too much and going maybe in your flower beds or you have felt the path is getting thinner and thinner as the year went by, it might be time to trim back to where you want the edge to be to tidy the area and make a huge visual improvement.

You will also need to rake out any dead moss in the area, if your lawn is full of moss then you may need to be looking more at moss control like using weed killers or specialist moss killers.

Moss can be caused by a number of different factors such as the garden being shaded, or maybe being a bit too compacted in certain areas meaning the ground is not letting air into the soil or getting too waterlogged.

I would suggest trying to identify where it is compacted, usually this would be in areas where you regularly walk on the grass, and you can put a fork into the ground and move it about a little to aerate the area.

Make sure to leave the lawn over winter so that when it can, it can put on as much length as possible to stop moss from taking hold in the area again.

6.Pond
If you are lucky enough to have a pond in your garden, then you will want to make sure it is tended to (Especially if you have fish in the pond) make sure to clean up the water to try to remove any dead or dying plants from in the water. The reason why this needs to happen is that dying and decomposing plant life in the water can produce gasses which are harmful to fish as if the area freezes over then the gas will have nowhere to escape to and can cause damage to your fish.

Also make sure to float something in the water like a ball to stop the water from completely freezing over, you can also use boiling water to unfreeze the ice, do not pour the water onto the ice, but you can put the water in a container and let that defrost the ice then remove the hot water once thawed.

There are also heating solutions for the pond, however that is quite an expensive solution and not available for everyone.


This short list should cover most of what you need to do in your garden, so please keep your gardens in top shape and if there are any plants you need for your garden this winter or even coming spring, please do get in touch and we will be able to help, visit our site here.

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