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By: John Adams, author of, LinkedIn Changemaker, and dad of two young daughters
Posted on: Oct 7, 2021

Preparing Your Garden For Winter

The best days of summer are behind us and fall has almost arrived. After days of barbecues and playing outside with your children, you’d be well advised to get your garden ready for the winter months.

There are many jobs you can undertake to keep your garden healthy during the cold season. These will also help it bounce back when the weather warms up again. Here are the main jobs you should consider doing.

Clear away all leaves

Any trees will shed their leaves on your lawn. If you don’t clear them away, they’ll stop the sunlight getting to the grass underneath and that will kill it, leaving you with a mud bath. You can use a rake to remove leaves, or you can use a leaf blower.

Aerate the lawn

Aerating the lawn will improve drainage which is very important during the rainy, winter months. Aerating also enables nutrients to seep into the soil where they are most needed. It’s a very simple job. You simply walk around the lawn, driving a fork several inches into the ground at intervals. It’s particularly important to aerate a garden that’s built on clay soil or has been heavily compacted, which can happen when children play games on the lawn during summer.

Artificial grass

A quick word for anyone that has an artificial lawn. During the winter months you will want to keep snow and ice off your grass so that moisture can drain away. You can do this very easily by simply brushing off any snow that builds up.

Think of the wildlife

Insects and wildlife are vital to keeping your garden healthy, so help them out during the winter months. Create a ‘bug hotel’ and leave it close to the ground so insects have somewhere to shelter. Place a bird feeder and a bird bath in your garden so birds can stay fed and healthy. If you have a pond, try and make sure there’s always a hole in the ice so animals can help themselves to a drink.

Flower Bulbs

Caring for plants

Tender species such as dahlia and begonias should be lifted from the ground before the first frost. The stems should be cut right back and the soil should be cleaned from the root ball. Leave them in trays filled with compost or sand with just the top of the plant visible in a greenhouse or some other frost-free place over winter. Replant them in spring.

Non-sturdy plants that are staying outside should be support with stakes. Pot plants that you think may not survive the winter should be brought inside for winter

If you have a vegetable garden, think about keeping plants in a greenhouse or covering tender vegetables with horticultural fleece.

Clean paving slabs

Dark days and rain are ideal breeding grounds for slippery algae. This can make paving slabs dangerous to walk on and also discolour them. It’s a good idea to clean them off now before the weather gets bad.

Tool maintenance

A traditional fall and winter job is to maintain your tools as they won’t be used until growing season comes round again. Clean all tools off, oil tools with hinges and springs and get shears and knives sharpened. If any tools are worn out, now is the time to replace them.

Other sources of advice

Those are the main jobs you will want to do in your garden over the next month or so in readiness for the cold, the rain and the harsher, winter weather. You’ll find more tips and advice on the Thompson-Morgan website. Another good source of information is the eartheasy website which some very detailed information about what to do with various different plants.

Speaking from personal experience, a little effort now will save you lots of work next spring. If you get your garden ready for winter, you’ll be able to have much more fun in it next year.