It feels like you were preparing your garden for spring not too long ago, doesn’t it? But it’s now impossible to escape the pumpkin spiced lattes. You’re digging out your cosy jumpers and the days are getting shorter. Long summer days of sunshine have been replaced with the cold chill of the oncoming winter. It’s time you started preparing your garden for its own version of hibernation.
There are all sorts of tasks to be thinking about. Pruning, weeding, cleaning and covering specific areas are important. But you’ll need to take care of the paving, patio, aggregate and cobbling too. In today’s article we’re going to look at all the things you’ll need to consider before you put your garden away for the season. These four tips should keep things safe during winter.
Put Summer’s Plants to Rest
We’ll bet you didn’t expect a paving company to begin by talking about your plants and flowers, did you? Regardless, one of the most important things to take care of before winter settles in is removing any dead and rotten plants.
Of course the flower skeletons don’t look good, but most importantly, you’re providing pests with a perfect home. Fungi and disease will be growing in places you can’t see and pests will be more than happy to dine on them throughout winter.
Pests that don’t hibernate (and yes, there are plenty of them) will use the flowers and other debris to build nests. If they do die off, then they may have already laid their eggs, ready to hatch when spring arrives.
Don’t give them that opportunity by removing your dead plants and keeping the soil tidy. Not only will your winter garden look much prettier, you’re also removing the disease and fungus which could spread to other parts of your garden. If it spreads to your paving and the soil underneath it, then you could be looking at a costly clean.
Weed Your Way Through the Cracks
Nobody likes weeding, but there’s rarely a more important time for it. You may have spotted weeds appearing through the cracks of your paving, aggregate and cobble throughout summer. If you’ve been delaying it until the next time, then unfortunately there are no excuses left.
Make sure to remove any growth from between slabs and tiles. If it’s bad now, then over winter roots will spread further and could even disrupt the foundations of your feature. Once water and ice begin to get into cracks and gaps that are already wider than they should be (thanks to the weeds), there could be some serious movement.
When spring arrives and the snow clears, you might be horrified to discover that your paving and cobbling isn’t how you left it. And the weeds you didn’t remove? They’ll be back with a vengeance as well.
Take the time to weed your garden properly and you won’t regret it.
Restart the Compost Heap
You might not have realised it, but your compost heap is probably in a perfect condition to use now as well. Microbes will have developed throughout the collection over summer and that nutrition needs to make its way back in to your garden.
Work the compost back into your soil before winter and, come spring, your soil will be in great condition. Fertilize the lawn while you’re at it and you’ll be giving your whole garden the boost it needs for spring.
Not only will your garden be benefitting from nature’s superfood, but you’ll have an empty compost bin to see you through winter too. You’ll be able to build a new compost heap throughout winter, and the leaves and other debris from autumn can only help. What’s more, you won’t have to worry about emptying a full compost heap on a cold winter’s day.
Lay the Foundations
This one applies to two specific areas of your garden. Firstly, you’ll want to mulch your garden. Yes, even in winter. This extra layer of mulch will protect your soil from erosion. Whether it’s up against wind, water or snow, it will have an extra layer of protection. Not only that, it prevents serious water loss and makes it harder for weeds to grow too.
You’ll also get a lot of ice during winter – that goes without saying. And you already know how destructive that can be to your driveway and other paving. Freezing and thawing causes havoc to the stone you’ve put down. Be sure to clean all your paving and stonework properly before the temperature takes a turn.
Mould, mildew and other fungi that has discoloured your paving will only get worse during winter. Clean that properly, then consider treating these surfaces with sand. It’s much cheaper than rock salt, and it’s nowhere near as destructive either.
There’ll be good traction on the surface and the cracks and gaps will be properly filled. You could even consider coating your stonework and paving with a layer of sealant to further protect it during the coldest months of the year.
Stick to these four tips and your garden’s sure to be in a good condition come springtime. That way, you’ll watch the ice disappear and won’t have to worry about what’s going to appear underneath.
If you have any more questions about preparing your paving for winter, give us a call on 01977 782 240 and we can advise you further.