Gardens always look a treat through spring and summer. However, from the beginning of autumn, it can be very tempting to leave them untended through winter. It’s true that the winter weather isn’t ideal for gardening, and most of your summer plants and flowers will die. However, that doesn’t mean you should hang up your gardening gloves altogether. In fact, there are certain steps you can take to ensuring your garden thrives through the colder months. Here’s how it’s done.
Check Your Soil pH
The pH level shows you how acidic or alkaline your garden soil is. The levels of pH will depend on various factors including the weather and your location. Your soil will have to be a certain pH level depending on the types of plants or vegetables you want to grow. Once you know the level it should be, you can adjust things accordingly. If you need more acidic soil, simply add more fertilizer. To make it slightly more alkaline, add lime. This is a great way of artificially changing the pH of your soil so that you can continue to grow your favorite plants throughout winter.
Raise Your Flowerbeds
If it is possible, you should raise your flowerbeds. The best way to do this is to buy some boxes or modules from your local garden center. There are multiple benefits of raising beds. The main one is that it aids drainage so your plants won’t drown even if it continually rains through winter. Not only that, though, but it also helps to increase the temperature of the soil. It can also be useful if you want to grow different types of plants that need various pH levels in the soil.
Protect From Pests
Most people think that garden pests are only an issue throughout the hot summer months. But, actually, there are still some that you will need to protect your plants and flowers against even in winter. Caterpillars are a year-round problem. The best way to keep these off your plants is to install some very fine wire netting to create a physical barrier. You might also notice pigeons pecking at your veggies and plants. Again, the best way to ward them off your garden is to install some physical barriers between them and the flowers. You could even try adding a scarecrow to your garden as a deterrent.
Plant Winter Vegetables
If you have a vegetable patch, don’t expect any of your summer veg to continue growing long into autumn. In fact, now is the perfect time to plant some winter veg that you will be able to harvest in a few month’s time. Some may even continue to grow throughout winter and will be ready to be picked in spring. Watercress is very durable and can survive throughout the cold months. Just make sure it is planted in raised flower beds. If you want to continue growing herbs through the winter, coriander and chervil are the best ones to sow now. You can even sow their seeds throughout September, but they will need to be kept inside for the first few weeks. Jerusalem artichokes, sprouts, and parsnips grow particularly well during winter. You can even continue to grow lettuce, as long as you pick one of the hardy varieties.
Keep Your Lawn Trim
Many people wrongly believe that grass stops growing completely over winter. However, it still grows. Just at a much slower pace than in summer. So that doesn’t mean you can take a few months off from mowing the lawn! You won’t have to do it every week, though. Just once a month should do it. If you are looking for a new mower, you can use these electric lawn mower reviews to help you decide your next model.
There won’t be as much to do in your garden through winter. At least, not compared to in summer! So now is the time to get all the cleaning done that you have been meaning to. Collect together all your tools that you have used throughout spring and summer. Things like shovels, spades, and trowels. Clean them thoroughly so that you get rid of all the dirt and rust. You should also clean all the seed pots and trays that you aren’t using right now. You can get rid of old dirt by using a mild detergent. Make sure you wash this off completely once done. For a more effective and thorough cleaning, it is best advised to get an expandable garden hose.
To prevent your garden from looking sparse, make sure you plant plenty of evergreens. These will keep your garden looking green and lush even once the snow starts to fall. Most evergreens look quite robust and hardy, so they make good borders in your garden. Another benefit of planting lots of evergreen is that they don’t take a lot of looking after. So you don’t have to worry if you forget to water them for a day or two.
Start A Compost Bin
If you don’t already have compost, now is the best time to start a compost bin. You can use any organic waste to create compost. Most gardeners use leftover vegetables and fruits or weeds that they pull out of their flower beds. All you need to do to start composting is buy a metal bin. Then start adding all your waste into it. It’s as easy as that! You will need to wait a couple of months until it has decomposed and is ready to use. You can then sprinkle it over flowers and plants or mix it into your soil before you sow seeds. It’s one of the best ways to get extra nutrients and minerals into your garden soil. What’s more, it’s completely organic and natural!
So, as you can see, it is important not to neglect your garden in the winter months. There is still plenty that you can do in it. And there are many different species of plants and vegetables that will continue to grow, even if it snows. Your garden will now look fab all year round!