If there is one thing you can predict, it is the unpredictable British weather. Howling gales, storms, lashing rain, icy cold, snow, hail and winter sunshine can pass overhead all in one day.
For the gardener, night frosts and chilly day time temperatures make a for a difficult time. Not all plants weather the winter well and as such, they will need to take evasive action to ensure that their well-stocked garden survives the winter.
But as Rattan Direct point out, it is not just the plants in a garden that can be damaged by winter weather…
Tip 1 – Store the garden furniture
It only takes a few days and nights of gusts and lashing winter rain for your garden furniture to become damaged. Thrown against fences, walls and decking, garden furniture can become damaged beyond repair leaving you bereft as the warmer weather of spring and summer arrive.
Loose garden furniture can also be a danger when blown out of the garden and onto roads. We only have to look at recent weather patterns in the UK, and the photos of trampolines on roofs and upturned caravans to understand that the wind can do significant damage.
Batten down trampolines and other garden toys that cannot be moved or stored in a shed, garage or similar. Garden furniture does not withstand harsh winter well so if you can, move them indoors too. If you have no indoor storage space, invest in well-made, high quality tarpaulin covers that cover the garden furniture completely
Tip 2 – Prevent winter slips and falls in the garden
Autumn leaves that lie around on paths and flower beds bring pests over the winter, but they are also slippery too which means that a quick dash from one end of the garden to the other takes on a skating rink. As autumn ends, before the harshness of winter, scoop up the leaves and either put out in your green waste recycling bags for kerbside collection or may your own leaf mulch.
Tip 3 – Mulch the garden
Keeping nutrients in the soil ready for spring growth is important and with a deluge of rain and a howling gale, a lot of nutrients are lost from the soil surface. Expert gardeners swear by mulch on their flower beds over the winter months. A thick layer of much, rich in nutrients, protects the root systems of shrubs as well as providing much needed nourishment for early-spring sprouting bulbs.
Using last year’s leaf mulch, spread it thickly over flower beds, as well as on and around the base of shrubs and trees. Your spring garden will look simply divine and it’s all down to the nutrient-rich mulch you laid at the start of winter.
Tip 4 – Look after delicate roses
Roses can flower well into autumn, their delicate scent filling the air on a cool autumn evening. Roses will normally survive the winter in the garden but only if you give it every chance to do so. Don’t cut dead blooms or prune the rose bush at all in later autumn as this is a sign to grow. Unfortunately, with the first frosty snaps of early winter, the cold will penetrate the stems and kill the rose.
Tip 5 – Snow is a gardener’s friend!
A blanket of the white stuff looks fabulous on Christmas cards but for many people, waking up to snow means cold and inconvenience.
For the gardener, a layer of snow on their flower beds is the perfect solution for protecting the plants and shrubs that are there, as well as the soil itself. Snow falls when the air temperature higher in the atmosphere is between -2 and 2°c and 3° ground temperature – in other words, snow falls when it is not freezing which means that it is far kinder to plants and shrubs.
However, a lot of snow is heavy so for the branches of plats and shrubs, heavy snow can cause damage. If this is the case, take a soft broom and gently knock the snow away.
Tip 6 – Save the trees!
Established trees should survive the winter unscathed and as hard as you try, if a gale whips through there is not much you can do to prevent your trees from being wind-damaged – it will be far too dangerous for you to try. Young trees however, have softer tree trunks and will need some help to cope with the winter weather. Wrap your trees in hessian sacks and if the temperature does plummet, stuff straw between the sacks and the trunk. Winter can be beautiful and is a chance for trees, plants and shrubs to store energy ready for spring growth.
The range of garden and conservatory furniture from Rattan Direct mean that you can enjoy the magic of all four seasons in your garden.
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