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6 simple steps to prepare your garden for winter

The coming of winter is a not always the most exciting or activity packed time in most gardens. There are many things you can do to get your garden ready for the coldest time of year – no matter where you live.

The following six steps will ensure that your garden is at its greenest and greatest, even after the last leaf has fallen.

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Cut it out

The saddest part of the impending seasonal change is often the bare and barrenness of previously lush trees and plants. Many plants die off in autumn in preparation for winter, with others merely hibernating in order to preserve energy through the colder months (through a reduction in sunlight and photosynthesis).

In order to help plants emerge in spring at their best and brightest, you can opt to prune them back. Take a large set of secateurs or shears and nip off peripheral stems or branches. This simple action will allow the plant to survive the winter, but it will also allow the plant to put more energy into new growth once the weather begins to warm.

Winter water

Make sure that your garden is receiving adequate water in the winter. It’s something that many gardeners forget in the cooler weather – as the temperature doesn’t seem to necessitate constant hydration. A great idea for forgetful gardeners is to install a watering system, such as the ones available from SunshowerOnline. A good watering system can precisely control the amount of water delivered to your plants, and can be operated by a timer. For those who spend time away from home, an automatic system can also keep your plants alive while you’re on-the-go.

Soil yourself

The colder months provide you with the necessary time to properly prepare your soil for spring and summer. Now is the time to stop over-fertilising your plants, and to instead balance the key ingredients in your soil, and to provide regular nurturing. By taking the time to prepare your soil properly in winter, you will ensure your plants get the best possible head start once the spring arrives.

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Bulb of light

Preparing your garden to plant annual flowers and bulbs is another time honoured cold weather tradition. After preparing your soil and performing a good clear-up and weed, you can carefully place flower bulbs into the soil and cover them. Make sure not to over water the bulbs at this time, as without the full heat of the sun, soil covered organisms can rot. Make sure to encourage drainage by aerating the soil.

Seasonal delights

Do your research on appropriate winter plantings in advance. There are numerous helpful (and free) resources available online to help you plan for your perfect winter garden – no matter what your intended outcome is.

Make sure to pay particular attention to your climate zone – there’s no use trying to grow frost sensitive vegetables if you live in an inland frost-ridden city. Be realistic, and aim to learn as much as you can about your local plant species and growing conditions.

Heat seeking

Garden heaters and lights can enhance your winter garden experience by providing much needed heat and atmosphere. Fire and gas based heaters can be purchased and set up in an afternoon, and will give you greater incentive to spend time in your newly adorned garden.

Specially selected lights may help to brighten the darker days, and will create a mood of wistfulness and ease. There are a wide range of solar and outdoor suitable lights, which carry the added benefit of being cheap to operate.

A winter gardening experience doesn’t have to be dull or depressing – you can make it warm, bright and filled with all colours of the rainbow. Just remember – a good garden takes time. Planning your garden from now will save you stress and hard work in the long term.

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