Preparing your garden for winter
Start with wrapping up any pots containing shrubs with bubble wrap, this will help to protect them from the winter frost.
This also helps to prevent pots from cracking in the cold.
For a double layer of insulation you can cover them with a hessian sack.
Cut broken or diseased stems up to at least 6 inches into the healthy wood. Remove any dead or broken stems and branches. A rough winter wind may rip them off the bush, wounding still-healthy stems.
Avoid pruning newly planted roses. They need at least one growing season to establish. Trim them with a light hand the second growing season.
Prepare your garden for wildlife. Food is scarce for our wildlife over the winter and our local natives will look to our gardens for refuge.
Leave out feeders for birds and if you have a bird bath check that the water hasn’t frozen so they can have a drink.
If you regularly have fires in your garden, check for hedgehogs who may have made a home in your fire pit.
If you have an outdoor tap, be sure to insulate exposed pipes and cover the tap with a tap cover to avoid it freezing over and creating any damage to pipework.
If you are able to turn off the stop tap and drain the tap this is even better as this will help to prevent against burst pipes and a potentially hefty plumbing bill incase of any unexpected accidents.
It’s not too late to plant those Tulips that have been hidden away in the back of the shed!
Here’s how: (According to a 6 year study by Cornell University)
- Clear away snow and loosen soil, if possible. If not, choose an area with soil full of organic matter
- Scratch in bulb fertilizer. If the ground is totally frozen, scatter fertilizer sparingly and over a larger range than normal.
- Place bulbs on top of soil. Do not press them in, as this will damage the bulb base, where roots form.
- Cover with 2-4 inches of aged mulch or finished compost. Go for the thicker layer if planting during the height of winter, like I did.
- Renew mulch covering often to be sure there is at least a two-inch layer.
According to research at Cornell, planting Tulips this way will produce the best results to planting them at any other time of year.
Don’t forget to insulate your greenhouse/s with bubble wrap.
Just one extra layer can lift the temperature by a few degrees to help keep frost away and help to keep heating costs down.
Ensure that ventilators are open on mild days to encourage good air circulation.