Once the bright summer colors have faded in your garden, you know autumn is fast approaching. Autumn is a busy period for gardeners to prepare their garden for winter. Without proper measures, your plants which you have taken care of for several months may wilt. Here are five important tips on how to prepare your garden for winter.
- During autumn, the trees and other plants in your garden shed their foliage. This is the best time to rake and gather dried foliage so they won’t block sunlight to the grass. Once autumn arrives, daytime becomes shorter. Thus, sunlight becomes a more valuable. Removing thatch and dead foliage maximizes sunlight and carbon dioxide exposure to other plants. Fresh air is also able to penetrate the soil deeper. In addition, this prevents pests and winter plant diseases to develop.
- Rains are also more frequent during winter. Most gardeners are taking advantage of the frequent rains by planting new vegetation. Because the soil is softer whenever it rains, this allows the plant to grow roots deep into the soil. Pansies and vegetables are usually planted in the autumn. Autumn is also ideal for planting garlic. By the time spring arrives, the vegetation you planted in autumn will be in full growth in spring.
- Autumn is a good time to add compost and fertilizers to your garden’s soil. Doing so will provide your plants with extra nutrients for winter. Just make sure there are no weed seeds in the compost. Apply one to two inches of compost on the base of your plants. Make sure, however, to empty your entire compost bin during winter and start with a new batch once spring arrives. In addition to adding compost, some gardeners put a thin layer of straw over the compost to prevent the nutrients for leeching and to keep off parasites.
- A good garden is only as good as the water amount it receives and the gardening tools used. It’s your responsibility to maintain clean drains and gutters. Make sure that there are no leaves, twigs and other debris blocking water flow. Any accumulated water will freeze in the winter and irreversibly damage your gutter, drains and other watering equipments such as sprinklers, irrigators and watering hose. Also, if these have metal parts, they will rust as the ice melts during spring. For your gardening tools, sharpen, clean or lubricate them during autumn so they are ready to be used once spring arrives. Tradefix Direct provides high quality hardware materials that are useful for maintaining your gardening tools.
- As winter nears, make sure that your garden’s irrigation system is turned off to prevent ay frost damage. Water expands when it freezes so any accumulated water will damage delicate the delicate internal parts of your irrigation system. In colder climates, it is ideal to disassemble the entire irrigation system but those living in warmer climates may do well by just turning it off and draining excess water. Store disassembled parts indoor to protect them from freezing temperature.