After all of the work and beautiful growing we see during the spring and summer months, autumn and winter can be a worrying time for keen gardeners about how their garden will fair during the winter months and return healthy again in spring. As experienced tree surgeons Essex we share our top tips for preparing your garden for winter.
1. Rake Up Leaves
Perhaps an obvious one, but come autumn/winter as the leaves fall to the ground, it is important to rake up leaves and add them to your compost bin. If the weather allows, this is best to do when the weather and leaves are dry. As well as helping to make your garden look tidier, it also allows it to become safer, as wet leaves can become slippery. Once you have raked the leaves, scrub any garden paths with soapy water or jet wash to help keep them clean and reduce any residue that can make paths slippery in the winter.
2. Trim Back Hedges and Trees
Now is the time to trim and prune your hedges and trees, removing any dead or diseased branches to stop stems rubbing against each other and causing damage. You will also want to cut back any herbaceous perennials and remove any dead foliage, leaves and weeds. If you need assistance with pruning tall hedges or trees, please don’t hesitate to call on tree surgeons in Essex such as us.
3. Remove Invasive Weeds
Weeds – the nemesis of a gardener. Now is the time to try and remove any invasive weeds from any borders, grass or pathways. Treat with weed killer or remove from the root. Compost weeds in a separate compost pile or bin to avoid cross contamination and encouraging weed growth next year.
If you’re not sure what is a weed and what is a wildflower, there are some useful resources online to help you identify them as well as steps you should take if any are particularly invasive or if they might be harmful if your skin comes into direct contact with them such as hogweed.
For any particularly invasive or dangerous weeds, you may wish to call in tree surgeons in Essex to complete the job safely and efficiently.
4. Spread Compost
Now is the time to take your well-rotted compost and spread it over fresh soil to allow it to settle ahead of the spring and create a nutritious environment for your plants to return. This will help to make your garden look presentable during the winter months as soil is turned and laid ready for regrowth in a few months’ time. Making all that composting worth it!
Composting is a great way of reusing old and dead leaves, plants, grass cuttings, hedge and tree branches and cuttings – allowing you create mulch to fertilise your garden and reduce your green waste.
5. Look After The Wildlife
Look out for garden wildlife such as birds, squirrels and hedgehogs by helping them out for the winter months with feeders laid strategically throughout the garden, water baths or creating wildlife friendly habitats such as a bee hotel, hedgehog home or log shelter. You can also research what food to leave out for hedgehogs and badgers and more.
Not only will you be looking after local garden wildlife, you will also get to benefit from observing exciting and interesting species in your garden which is interesting for both children and adults alike! The Wildlife Trust has some useful information if you would like to find out more.