The cold weather can have potentially destructive effects on your garden. Rain, snow, and frost in particular can cause irreversible damage. To stop this, there are some preventative measures you can take before the cold weather hits. There are also some steps to follow afterwards in order to restore your garden. Here’s a look into common gardening problems during the winter and how to treat them.
The weather outside can wreak havoc on your garden flowers and plants. To prevent this, there are a few things you can do.
Firstly, when planting your garden, consider how the plants will react to adverse weather. Where possible, pick durable, hardy plants that will be less likely to get easily damaged. If you do want to plant more delicate varieties, then do so in areas with shelter where they can still thrive. This may be under a large tree, by shrubs, or propped up against fences.
Additionally, when maintaining your plants throughout the year, avoid fertilisers with high-nitrogen as they can encourage plants to grow more leaves which is especially susceptible to damage. Also, be mindful as to where you are planting tender species, as cold air and frost always find the lowest point in a garden be sure to avoid those places.
Some plants might not survive the winter without suitable protection, damaged plants is one of the most common gardening problems. To combat this, you can invest in protective covering – particularly effective for trees. You can buy waterproof, insulating covers from any gardening centre. Be sure to then cover the tree from the root up, pining the cover down so it’s less likely to blow away.
Similarly, using mulch is a great way to keep plants warm and protect them from frost. This will allow them to take up moisture during the cold months in winter, stopping them from becoming dehydrated. If you’ve got low-growing plants, then cover them with a sheet of glass or fleece, surrounding them with a layer or gravel or grit.
If you’ve not got a lot of room in your garden to protect your tender plants under shelter, then it may be a good idea to move them inside a greenhouse. This way you can continue to nurture your plants and avoid common gardening problems. It’s particularly effective for fruits and vegetables. Then, once springtime comes, you can simply move them back outside.
Believe it or not, snow can actually act as a beneficial insulating layer. However, too much heavy snow can be detrimental, so it’s better all-round to get rid of it as soon as it arises. Many common gardening problems during winter arise from the heavy snowfall.
It can also be dangerous, causing leaves and branches to snap and fall. To stop this from happening, gently shake the snow from the branches of your trees, shrubs and hedges. This will also stop them from becoming disfigured by the weight.
Though it may be tempting, avoid walking on snow-covered grass! It will damage what’s underneath, and often leave marks on the lawn. Unfortunately it can also encourage the growth of fungal diseases that populate in such conditions.
Before winter comes, check your garden structures and replace (or fix) any that are loose or damaged. This includes, fences, walls, roofs and posts. Securing them now will prevent them being completely unfixable once spring comes around.
Lastly, when it comes to your garden furniture, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Even if you’ve got all-weather outdoor furniture, it’s a good idea to cover it completely with a sheet. Alternatively, you can even move it indoors to your conservatory or in your shed (still with a protective sheet over the top).