Prevent winter damage in your garden with these tips

When the weather gets cold, windy and wet, there is a high chance of damage to your trees, garden structures and shrubs. It is important to remember to invest the care and time to check how your garden is doing and prevent the damage to the best of your ability. Only then can you hope to reap the rewards of having a functional garden the next spring.

Here are a few tips that go a long way for the winter:

  • Limit feeding – many people believe that applying nitrogen-rich fertilisers so late in the year is a good idea. However, according to expert gardeners, it may, in fact, be a problem. The reason is that nitrogen-rich fertilisers actually promote sappy growth, which is the last thing you want before the winter.
  • Cover the soil – if you leave the soil exposed, you risk a loss of vital nutrients, which the plants need. This is especially the case for any vegetable patch that you have in the place. Green manure works excellently as a ground cover, which reduces nutrient leeching.
  • Mulching is also essential – there is one thing you need to be aware of in the winter: soil erosion and compaction are two common problems after heavy rains, which are common in the UK. A reliable way to reduce these adverse effects is mulching. Apply the material on the ground among plants.
  • Pick the best spots for your plants – you may not realise it, but the spots in your garden are not all the same. There are warm spots, and then there are cold spots. For instance, you can expect to find warm spots around the base of a south-facing wall, while cold spots are usually located on the north side of the area. You need to pick which plants you put in those areas carefully. You should site early-flowering species, like camellias and magnolias, in a way that they are not exposed to speedy thawing from the morning sun. Rapid thawing presents a risk for frozen buds.
  • Keep your containers sheltered – if you wish to protect your containers, you should shelter them and group them so that they provide mutual protection. If you wrap the items in bubble polythene or straw, you can protect the roots of the plants from freezing. Another way to protect the roots of potted plants is to plunge the pot into the ground.
  • Inspect garden structures – this is a job you need to do well before the start of winter. Inspect your garden structures. Look for loose panels, posts, fences and roofs that need to be re-attached. If you have a solid fence, consider replacing it with one that is 50% permeable to avoid shaking and gusting. Consider planting windbreaks in cold and windy sites.

You now know what to do in your garden to keep in in good shape throughout the winter. Remember, the more attention and care you invest now, the better your garden will be in the spring.

© Local Gardeners

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