Five jobs to do now to ‘winter-proof’ your garden

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Not only did gardeners need to prepare their gardens for the summer heatwave by moving plants around and protecting them, cold weather also means plants and flowers need to be protected. To help “winter-proof” your garden, Lucy Rhead, gardening enthusiast at Gtech has shared some expert tips to ensure plants, both indoor and outdoor, make it through the winter.

1. Prune all your leaves and trees

The expert said: “It’s important to prune your plants all year round, but it’s especially important to do so in the autumnal months ahead of frosty days, as trimming them when it’s cold can cause them harm. 

“Using the likes of garden shears is paramount because you need to make sure you are pruning the plants correctly and not damaging stems.

“Make sure to take care while pruning, as shrubs only need a bit of dead-heading if the plant or flower is looking a little worse for wear.”

2. Turn your soil over

Turning soil over once you have pruned back plants and bushes is vital as it helps to allow the soil to breathe and aerate.

According to the expert, in turn, this can start the organic breakdown of plant tissue and should be done for both indoor and outdoor plants.

Lucy added: “Autumn digging allows the frost that will accumulate over winter to break up and improve the structure of your garden beds and plant roots.”

3. Bring your fragile plants and flowers inside

There are some plants which might not withstand the harsh winter weather, and so should be moved inside or into a shed.

The expert explained: “A key tip when doing this is to move your plants inside before night time temperatures reach below 10 degrees.

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“This is to ensure the plants don’t go into a state of shock and can therefore acclimatise accordingly. Your indoor plants aren’t too dissimilar to your outdoor plants.

“Many houseplants need a temperature of 12 to 18 degrees, so move them away from cold draughts and open windows. If you can, move the plants to still get direct sunlight when possible.”

4. Prolong the life of your outdoor furniture

To make sure garden furniture doesn’t go rusty in the winter, it should be moved into a shed or garage if possible.

If this isn’t possible, Lucy has shared other tips to help keep it looking its best all winter long.

She said: “Purchase hard-wearing garden furniture covers. This will ensure your furniture isn’t in direct frost and rain, so will keep things like rust at bay.

“Look into storage unit hires, hiring out a small storage unit to keep your outdoor furniture in can be a simple way to ensure your furniture doesn’t get too affected by the cold weather. As the cost of living is increasing this may not be possible for everyone.

“So, purchasing a small outdoor storage unit with a one-off payment may be the best option.”

Cushions and pillows will also need to be brought indoors if possible as they may turn damp and mouldy. If storage is tight, the expert recommended using them on the sofa or beds.

5. Think about wildlife

The gardening pro said: “Birds can be vulnerable in the winter, so keeping a well-stocked bird feeder is a nice idea for your garden space.

“Not only will it provide food for birds, but it will also bring wildlife into your outdoor area.

“If you have the space, you could even make a hibernation station for hedgehogs by making a dome-like shelter using logs or wood, shrubbery and leaves.”

The expert also recommended starting to think about growing vegetables, a process which begins in the winter, ready for a spring or summer harvest.

Lucy recommended growing onions, carrots, spinach, lettuce and asparagus.

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