How to prepare your garden for winter
Winter may seem like a dormant time in your garden with not much happening… but that doesn’t mean that there are no gardening jobs to do. More importantly, there are quite a few tasks that you should address before the first cold snap.
Getting these jobs done during autumn will also save you getting your green fingers cold later on. Don’t forget that as well as tools, you’ll need gardening gloves, a warm jacket and shoes that can deal with everything from mud to frost.
Spring cleaning for winter
This is a great time of year to declutter your shed or greenhouse, get rid of any garden rubbish and deadhead or prune flowering plants that are past their prime. This will ensure a wonderful floral display again next spring or summer.
Keep dead leaves and other organic material for making compost or to use as mulch if you live in an area with no winter rainfall. Cut back branches that are getting close to your electric fence – you don’t want to be kept awake by that annoying clicking sound when they make contact during the night.
Add some winter colour
Your garden doesn’t have to be dull in winter – use pots or window boxes to plant winter-flowering little pops of colour like pansies, petunias and Namaqualand daisies. While these plants will flourish in winter, others may take strain when the temperatures drop. Particularly sensitive plants may need to be wrapped or covered to protect them from frost.
Evergreen plants that retain their leaves all year are another great option – even if you don’t get flowers, you can still appreciate the variety of colours and shapes.
Fish need friends not food
If you have a pond in your garden, you might notice that your fish really slow down as winter arrives. In fact, they’ll probably spend most of the winter at the bottom of the pond, just chilling. To help them endure the winter – and to save having to do this when the water’s really cold – maintain pumps and filters now.
To avoid spending all winter fishing leaves out of your pond or pool – and given that you probably won’t be swimming much over the next few months – invest in a cover or pool net.
Natural lawn thrillers
Your lawn will grow much slower during winter, but it still helps to give it some lawn food during autumn (as well as mowing it short so it doesn’t get straggly). A bit of extra care now will make sure you still get to enjoy a lush green lawn when the warmer weather returns.
Bring it indoors
If cold weather really isn’t your thing, or you don’t have a garden, you can create a wonderful display of plants indoors instead. There are loads of low maintenance houseplants available. Shop pots that fit your décor scheme, or repurpose glass jars from your kitchen for an instant, nice and warm garden.
Find all the equipment and tools you need to prepare your garden for winter here.