While the rest of the planet is starting to feel the promise of spring around the corner, those of us here in the land down under are getting out the doona, and shaking out our winter coats.
That’s right folks, as they say in a certain popular television series, winter is coming. Now, for most of us, colder weather and longer nights aren’t really much of a concern; with heaters and ugg boots, we’re pretty well looked after.
But ask yourself, what kind of protection does your garden have, and what does it need to withstand winter?
If you want to be able to step out of your home next spring and not be greeted by a garden that looks as though it narrowly survived Armageddon, then there are a few steps that you should consider taking as a precautionary measure before you let winter have its way.
1. Autumn Cleaning
Raking up leaves as they fall, clearing the surface of other unwanted debris and pulling up any weeds that appear, will give your garden better access to the nutrition it needs
First and foremost, for your garden to have the best chance of surviving the colder months, it needs to be at peak health before the cold sets in.
That means that as the leaves begin to change and the days start getting shorter, you should put a bit of extra effort into keeping your garden in good shape. Raking up leaves as they fall, clearing the surface of other unwanted debris and pulling up any weeds that appear, will give your garden better access to the nutrition it needs, as wells as help discourage harmful pests.
2. Last Meals
When certain animals prepare to go into hibernation, they first eat as much food as they can to build up fat deposits on their bodies. Similarly, the plants in your garden will gladly make use of any additional nutrients you give them with good quality fertiliser.
Also, make sure to water your plants regularly in anticipation for colder weather (just make sure that you don’t water them when the temperature gets down below freezing, otherwise you could unintentionally harm them).
3. Down The Drain
Installing a drainage system is one way to ensure that you don’t end up with a swamp where your garden once was
Installing a drainage system is one way to ensure that you don’t end up with a swamp where your garden once was, but there are other methods that can work just as well and require less effort.
Aerate your garden using special aeration tools such as a lawn coring machine, or, failing that, a garden fork.
4. Bring Them Home
Potted plants that can be safely moved should be shifted to areas which offer more protection from the elements.
Be sure to pick a spot that still offers sufficient sunlight, don’t neglect to water these plants if they’re unable to get any rain, and make sure that the water is neither too cold nor too hot (it should feel tepid to the touch). Don’t overwater your potted plants; they need much less water during the winter when they are not actively growing.
5. In The Frame
For areas of your garden that could be damaged by frost, you’ll want to provide a bit of homemade shelter. Constructing frames around these areas with exposed struts will allow you to quickly and easily cover these areas with a tarp so that they are protected at night.
Plants still need to be able to get sunlight, so don’t forget to remove the tarp once morning comes
Of course, these plants still need to be able to get sunlight, so don’t forget to remove the tarp once morning comes.
Winter can be hard on plants, but with a little preparation, you’ll find that your garden can withstand almost anything that Jack Frost will throw at it. Of course, you can just avoid the hassle altogether by choosing plants that are naturally suitable to your particular area.
Consult the Australian National Botanic Gardens map of plant hardiness, so that you’ll know just what to expect from your garden once those cold winds start to blow.
If winter got the best of your lawn, you may be looking at laying new turf. If so, be sure to look at our article on laying turf called Tips For Laying Turf.
And if you are as passionate about your house as you are for your garden, then you are probably in the market for home insurance. Be sure to check out Budget Direct and get a home insurance quote.