18 ways to ensure your garden is ready for winter

Posted: 21st Nov 2018

if you're looking to get your garden ready for the colder months to come, these tips could be for you

The outdoor specialists at GardenBuildingsDirect.co.uk have compiled their top tips for what you can do to prepare and protect the UK gardens during the colder months.

1. Flower bed arrangement

Begin by digging up and replacing any dead plants you find within the garden flower bed, before cutting back the perennials and spreading out a strong layer of organic fertiliser, manure and mulch (including the bark, grass clippings, dry leaves and old newspaper).

2. Evergreens

You can brighten up the dullest of winter gardens with colourful and hardy varieties of year-round plants – for instance heather, primulas and witch hazel.

3. Protect the vulnerable species

Dig up the tender plants or bulbs that might be susceptible to frost damage (along with the top soil), trim the stems, and then find a suitable place to spend the winter (this could be in a box on a cool indoor window sill, for instance).

4. Take extra precautions

If you have hanging baskets and potted plants think about moving them into the less exposed areas of your garden during the winter. You can also try wrapping burlap, tarpaulin or even fabric around the delicate tree trunks or some shrubs.

5. Clean it up

This one's simple - remove any rubbish or debris and collect any diseased foliage. Make sure you clear away any disused or broken items you have lying around in your garden.

6. Clear out the gutters

Be sure to regularly clear the fallen leaves from the gutters and drains around outside of the house and the outbuildings, to ensure there are no inconvenient blockages. If there are lots of trees nearby too, you should think about investing in a wire corner.

7. Hoard grit

While putting salt on icy paths and patios can do, you could be better prepared by getting your hands on a product that has been especially designed to prevent slipping.

8. Water works

If there are a few days without any rainfall, it will be important to make sure you give your garden a once over with water, just as you would in summer.

9. Move your garden furniture

You should make sure you store any garden furniture in your shed, along with any weak plastic garden ware and metal items that could be vulnerable to the elements.

10. Rake the lawn

Give your garden a rake to remove any moss or thatch - the prongs can then be used to aid drainage and ventilation. This also helps the lawn to establish firmer roots as winter takes over.

11. Sort out the shed

With gardens exposed to the worst of the winter weather, they will need all the help they can get – you should therefore make sure that all the tools in the shed have a specific function.

12. Clean water butts

If you have a tank that collects water for plants, you should empty and clean it prior to the height of winter.

13. Refreshing the compost

Conducting the autumn tidy up is a guaranteed way to generate organic waste for your compost heap - winter will then be the ideal time to spread it around before starting afresh for the new year.

14. Cover any ponds

Adding a thin mesh net or tarpaulin over ponds or other water features will help you to avoid any problems when it comes to putrefying leaves. You can then easily gather them from the top of the material, before you add them to the compost heap.

15. Take care of wood

Take the chance to fix any loose screws or edges on fences, decking or wooden garden structures in advance of the worst of the weather, before painting or spraying wooden surfaces by having appropriate wood preservative products.

16. Let the sun shine

Using hot water and muscle power helps you to remove shade paint from the greenhouse or shed windows - this allows as many of the suns warming rays through a possible.

17. Be kind to birds

Non-migratory birds are particularly vulnerable as the colder months take over, meaning it becomes vital for us to leave well stocked feeders and water baths around our gardens.

18. Water precautions

If you have an outside tap, it should be isolated and drained. However, if this proves to be impossible, at least insulate and cover it. This reduces the likelihood of a burst pipe or any other damage that comes from the freezing weather.