Snow, frost and harsh storms can cause havoc in the garden over the winter months. It’s not just the flowers and plants that need some extra care; you should also take care of your lawn too.
Caring for your trees
You can still plant deciduous trees in your garden during the winter months. If you have bought fruit trees from a reputable supplier, including from Ashridge nurseries, then you can plant them in January or early February in preparation for the spring. As long as the ground isn’t frosty then you can go ahead. Don’t fertilise the area where you’ve planted the tree but do add mulch. Also make sure that the hole is deep enough and you have soaked the roots of the tree before planting.
Looking after the lawn
The best way to look after your lawn during the winter months is to avoid walking across it if the weather is frosty. According to the UK Gardening website you could damage your lawn if you don’t follow this advice. Laying a path or placing some stepping-stones across the lawn is an easy solution to this problem. Also if there are any leaves on your lawn left over from autumn then rake them up before your grass is covered by frost or snow. Another most important thing is scarifying the lawn. It removes organic matter, such as thatch or moss, from around the base of the grass plants and tidies up any straggly lateral growth, that will otherwise prevent good dense grass growth. If you do not scarify, debris will build up and lead to other problems.
Care for your plants
In order to protect delicate plants over the winter make sure that you don’t prune any old growth before the winter. If your garden is affected by a harsh frost then this growth will actually protect the plant’s crown, keeping it safe from frost damage. When planting keep delicate plants away from areas of your garden that are low lying – these are the areas that will be most affected by the frost. The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) website suggests that you can still prune herbaceous perennials and even divide them at this time of the year as long as the weather is reasonably mild. Pro tip by the gardening pros at the LemonCitrusTree Company: Potted fruit trees such as limes or meyer lemons should be taking inside in frosty months and continue to be fertilized.
Look to your pots
Frost can damage ceramic or clay pots so make sure that you either cover your pots or move them to a shed or greenhouse if you don’t want to wake up one morning and see them shattered. Placing patio containers on bricks will protect them from prolonged periods of rain so that your precious plants aren’t sitting in a pool of water during the winter.
Pond maintenance is important
Listen to the weather forecast for frost warnings. Many fish die during the winter months as a result of ice so install a pond heater earlier in the year for winter use.
If you don’t have a heater then place a saucepan of hot water over the pond’s surface in order to break the ice. Never simply break a hole in the ice as this can damage your fish.
Feed the birds
The health of a garden in the summer depends on birds killing insects and eating snails and slugs. In order to ensure that your feathered friends stay alive during the winter months keep your bird feeder well stocked with nuts and other treats.