A well-tended garden can set the scene for your whole home and, as Audrey Hepburn said “To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” With snow on Scottish hills and the first frost around the corner, now is the time to put your garden to bed for winter. You’ll benefit next year.
Spring clean out buildings
Before you hang up your tools for winter it’s a good time to tidy out your potting shed, green house or even cold frame. Clean glass, take down sun blocking hangings, organise seeds and planters ready for spring.
Put away or cover garden furniture
It’s a smart idea to clean off and store garden furniture that won’t be used in winter. This is a good opportunity to repaint or treat wooden furniture too.
With dead plants and fallen leaves being scattered by the wind it’s time to do some housekeeping! Remove plant stakes and trellises, clean and store. Bin any plant material showing signs of disease to stop its spread and compost what you can.
Give your lawn some TLC
Autumn’s the perfect time to give your lawn attention. It will get less wear and tear during winter, ideal for bald spots to recover. Rake up old glass cuttings, treat moss and aerate the lawn with a fork. Add lawn feed to nourish during winter months. If you need to, now is a good time to lay new turf as it will have time to settle uninterrupted.
Plant now, for winter
Autumn is the perfect time to add winter evergreens. These will add colour and bring life to your garden.
Plant now, for spring
By the end of November your spring bulbs should be planted. Whether in pots or flower beds remember to label them, especially if you plan to add to your design before they bloom in spring. Now is the best time to collect seeds from any favourite plants, much later in the year and they will likely get too damp to fully dry out.
Give your tools some TLC
MOT your tools before storing them away. Take your lawn mower for a service and sharpen shear and secateurs. As they’ll be in storage give spades and forks a good wash and dry thoroughly, oiling wooden handles with linseed oil.
Feed the birds (and hedgehogs!)
Wildlife are important to your garden, so while it might be tempting to clean every corner try to leave some plant matter. Seeds provide vital food for birds and small animals, and can provide shelter. Now is the time to hang feeders too if you haven’t already.
Wrap up your roses
Roses are especially vulnerable to colder weather. First prepare the ground around plants by removing old mulch which could carry diseases. Water ground well and insulate the soil around plants with fresh mulch, spreading as far out as the outer branches. Top this up throughout winter to protect the plant and maintain an even soil temperature while frosts come and go.
Make sure all plants are well watered. You may also want to spray vulnerable evergreens with an anti-desiccant. This will reduce the amount of water that escapes through leaves, or wrap plants with a double layer of burlap. If the ground freezes the roots of evergreens can’t draw water from the soil so they often dry out in winter.
Get ready for spring
Add compost to beds now, topping up throughout the winter. This will ready your soil for spring. If you can face the cold weather it’s a good time to plan your garden design and create any raised beds.