If you’re a keen gardener, then you might assume that your work is done for the rest of the year, and that until the first shoots start to appear in Spring, there’s not much you can do to improve the state of your garden.While this is certainly true to an extent, and that the growth in your garden is largely dormant over the Christmas and new year period, there’s still a great deal that we can do to protect our gardens from the environmental pressures of that biting, frosty chill.
Let’s examine some of the ways in which we might ensure our gardens are kept in good condition over the season, so that they might be prepared for the spring.
Clear out the dead plants
Your first task should be that of cleaning up those plants which aren’t going to survive the winter.Any annual flowers and vegetables which are simply left in the soil to rot might serve as an incubator for nasty microbes and insects which might spread to the rest of your flowerbed or vegetable patch – and once spring has sprung, these creatures will be active and causing harm again.Get rid of any old or dead plants and dump them on the compost heap, leave the ones that are merely dormant, and make any other repairs you feel necessary.
While it might seem that the plants in your garden are entirely dormant, there’s still plenty of activity going on just underneath the soil, where the temperatures are a little more tolerable.Here, there exists a vibrant and varied ecosystem of earthworms and helpful microbes, as well as the roots of the plants themselves.And for this ecosystem to thrive, it will need the right nutrients to feed off.A layer of mulch will also help to reduce weed growth and keep the moisture and temperature of the soil consistent.
Snow is something of a double-edged sword when it comes to the plants your garden.Once it’s fallen, it’ll offer a layer of insulation in the same way that the top layer of mulch might. But it’ll also place a great deal of weight on tree branches if it’s allowed to pile up excessively.Combat this by simply knocking the snow from the tree where it’s built up too high.Begin with the lowest branches and work your way steadily upward.
When trees are very young, they’re vulnerable to being chewed by small rodents and other animals.Prevent this by installing a wire cylinder around the base of your trees.Some larger trees, like rose bushes which have been sculpted, are particularly vulnerable to wind chill – and so erecting a small tent around them, filled with dry leaves, might offer the right protection until the cold weather comes to an end.
If your garden is exposed to high winds, then you’ll want to be sure any fences aren’t about to be uprooted and flung through the air.Since a fence panel is so lightweight, and has such a large surface area, they’re especially vulnerable to wind, and can behave like a sail.If the force becomes too great, they might even snap.
There are several ways to get around this.One might use concrete posts to force wooden fence panels into the ground, providing them with an anchor.This method, while effective, doesn’t look terribly good – and so many prefer to anchor their wooden fences with underground concrete blocks.Installations such as this can be performed relatively easily – and the materials can be bought from any North Wales fencing supplies merchant.
Protect your fence
You’ll want to protect your fence against the elements with regular applications of wax or paint.This will provide protection against excess moisture, which will contribute to rot and thereby shorten the lifespan of the fence.It will also help the fence to look its best, and thereby elevate the entire garden.The same treatment should also be applied to other wooden structures in your garden, like sheds.You’ll find the necessary materials available from any reputable timber merchant in North Wales.
In order to finish your fence, you’ll need to first clean, wash and dry it.Unfortunately, once winter has started, it can be difficult to find a weekend where the fence will dry quickly enough.When next summer finally rolls around, however, be sure to grant your fence the care and attention it deserves.
Keeping your garden in good condition is a year-round job – but fortunately, it doesn’t take a great deal of effort to keep things ticking over during winter.That done, you’ll save yourself an enormous amount of work over the course of the following year.