The colder weather is quickly approaching as we get closer to the winter months, meaning your cold weather garden preparation needs to start now! You’ll need to begin preparing your garden for temperature drops, icy mornings and shorter daylight. Here is VR Gardens’ list of 5 essential cold weather garden preparation tips.
1) Winter Mulch
In the summer we lay down a few inches of mulch to conserve moisture and prevent the growth of weeds. However, in the colder months of the year we apply mulch to protect plants from temperature drops. Laying down a few inches of compost followed by winter mulch will protect your plants from the bitter frost. It’s important to note that not all plants need this winter mulch. Newly planted and shallow-rooted plants are most vulnerable during these colder months. The layers of compost and mulch will also deter wildlife from nibbling on your garden greens.
A task that few gardeners enjoy, but a necessary one nonetheless. Now is the perfect time to begin weeding your lawn, flowerbed or patio while it’s getting cold. Before you know it, it’ll start getting warm again and come spring bringing with it an even bigger weeding task. Removing the weeds before seeding will greatly benefit your garden by inhibiting their harbouring diseases and insect pests.
3) Protecting Garden Equipment
Gardening equipment isn’t cheap. Be sure to properly prepare your vulnerable equipment for any cold snaps coming over the next few months. Keep gardening chemicals out of the freezing temperatures and ensure that any powders are kept dry. Drain and store gardening hose pipes, as well as turn off water to protect outdoor faucets as the frozen water can cause damage. Not only gardening tools and equipment need to be protected. Be sure to bring in any ornaments and outdoor furnishing that may be harmed by the dropping temperature.
4) Cover Water Features
Bad weather during the late autumn and winter months brings heavy rain, gusts, sleet and snow that can all have a big impact on your garden’s water features. Covering these features during the colder months will reduce your workload come spring. A cover will protect it from blockages, sights and smells as garden matter rots. Any wildlife living in your garden feature will be protected during freezing temperatures if they’re covered, giving them a greater chance of survival. If you have a water feature in your garden, be sure to check out some of these extra tips.
5) Cutting Back
Be sure to remove any dead, diseased or damaged materials from perennials. Diseases can contaminate any part of your greens, including mulch. Removing contaminated material now will remove the possibility of bigger issues come spring. You can also cut back on some perennials to limit insect problems in the future. Some gardeners like to keep some perennials during the colder months as it attracts interest from birds and other wildlife and protection for over-wintering beneficial insects.
These are our five cold weather preparation tips for your garden. By taking some of these tips on board now, it may seriously reduce your workload when the temperatures start to rise again. If you have any other great cold weather tips to share be sure to leave us a comment below!
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