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How to Prepare Your Garden for Winter

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How to Prepare Your Garden for Winter

With the colder and harsher winter weather set to arrive shortly, it’s time to begin preparing your garden for the seasonal change ahead. 

With our garden care team currently caring for gardens over the cooler period, it is quite often mistaken that this is a quiet time within the garden, however it is quite the opposite! From mulching borders to re-training wisterias, this time of year is a significant period in your garden care calendar and is essential for ensuring a prosperous garden in the new year. Now you might currently be feeling a bit stuck at where to begin, but worry not! We’ve caught up with our Head Gardener to find out his top 9 tips winter garden tips that will guarantee to get you off to a flying start.

1. Mulching

In the autumn and early winter our garden care team give our beds and borders a deep covering of mulch to put them to bed over the winter period. Once the last of the leaves have fallen, this is the best time to then begin applying your thick layers of mulch. Acting as a duvet for your plants, protecting them from frosts and filling your soil with nutrients, mulch is also a fantastic way to give your border a neat and tidy finish. Reducing the growth of weeds, retaining water and wrapping roots in a layer of protection, mulch is a winter necessity that gives your garden an extra special boost to see it through the harsher winter months.

2. Inspect shrubs and trees 

A time when the garden is a much less verdant state, this is a great time to start inspecting all of your small trees and large shrubs. Make sure to remove any dead or damaged limbs, or any other awkward growths that you may come across. Trees such as Fagus sylvatica (Beech) and Corylus avellana (Hazel) are two examples that can be pruned back easier at this time of year too.

3. Rose pruning 

Once December has arrived, our garden care team soon begin rose pruning. Our Head Gardener recommends that this year you should make sure to prune lower than you think due to this year’s roses being rather leggy and some collapsing in the midsummer. Therefore, pruning lower now will prevent this from happening in the new year.

4. Clean hard standings

To give our gardens an extra spruce ahead of the winter time, our garden care team are currently jet washing a variety of hard standings. To give your garden an extra polish, you can also jet wash not just your patios but also your walls and furniture  too to ensure that any grit and moss is gently removed.

5. Bare-root planting

Due to autumn’s cool air flow and the increased rainfall at this time of year, this makes right now the best time for bare-root plants to be both lifted and planted. Establishing themselves well within the garden, bare-root plants are typically found to be much stronger and healthier plants due to their roots not being restricted or confined to a pot. From Tilia platyphyllos trees to fiery Cornus shrubs, there are so many varieties of bare-root plants to choose from that can add wonderful touches of interest throughout your gardenscape.

6. A helping hand for wildlife 

Due to winter’s colder temperatures and harsher conditions, garden wildlife can considerably benefit from a little extra support throughout these more challenging months. Crucial sources of shelter and food, garden wildlife relies heavily on the safety and sanctuary of our garden environments. When turning over your compost heaps make sure to keep an eye out for small creatures such as frogs and hedgehogs that tend to crawl into these piles in search of a warm spot to rest. Bird feeders and insect hotels are also wonderful features that can be camouflaged within your garden to support ecosystems with a source of food and shelter.

7. Bulb recipes

Set to fill our gardens with beautiful bursts of colour in the new year, our soft landscaping team are currently carefully creating and planting a variety of bulb recipes. Starting with larger bulbs such as lillies embedded at the bottom and then working their way up to the smaller delights of crocus and snowdrops, introducing a variety of bulb recipes throughout your garden is a fantastic way to diffuse successional interest around your outdoor spaces.

8. Caring for kitchen gardens

In our kitchen gardens we are currently lots adding lots of organic matter back into the soil using methods such as green manure, which keeps the soil working during the cooler months. We’re also forking the soil to break up any ‘pans’ too (which occurs when the soil gets rather compacted). At this time of year it is also a great time to begin removing and cleaning any supports within your kitchen garden such as metal archways and cloches.

In terms of garden produce, we would recommend keeping an eye over any wintering brassicas, kale, cauliflower and brussels, checking them for pests such as whitefly.

Surprising many of us in autumn with how much waste is generated within our own gardens, the next few months are also a good time to begin making room for a greater composting area.

9. Re-training wisterias

To ensure that your climbers and wisterias achieve their strongest and greatest growth, re-training your plants ahead of the winter is the best way to ensure that your climber is best supported in preparation for a glorious display in the flowering season.

Looking to keep your garden refreshed throughout the seasons?  Get in touch today to find out how our expert team of horticulturalists could care for your garden.

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