With the cooling temperatures of winter now setting in, it is the perfect time to prepare your park home garden for the freezing weather ahead.
Here are some tips on how to prepare, protect and care for your garden this winter.
Take advantage of leaves
As the leaves fall from your trees, this provides an unexpected bonus. You could either rake up the leaves to use in your compost pile, or utilise them as mulch for any newly planted shrubs, perennials or trees you may have. Alternatively, you could use a mulching mower to disintegrate the leaves into small pieces which will nourish the soil as they fall between the blades of grass.
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Replace or remove annuals
It is best to remove annual plants after the foliage becomes blackened after the first onset of frost. Place any old plants onto your compost pile unless they are diseased, in which case throw them away as you do not want to spread the disease.
As perennial flowers die and become dormant, prune them to two inches tall or back to the ground. However, plants with interesting seed heads such as coneflowers or ornamental grasses can be left to create a pleasing winter garden. These seed heads will also create a treat for songbirds as winter sets in. Remember to trim the plants back during early spring as you will want to encourage new growth to emerge.
Protect young trees
Rabbits, voles and mice love to eat the bark found on young trees during the winter months. In order to protect your young trees, wrap the saplings with a plastic tree guard or chicken wire. Plastic tree guards also help to protect young trees from the sun on clear, cold days as the sun will promote the growth of cells on the tree, however, these cells will die as soon as the temperature drops and the sun disappears.
Once the nighttime temperatures drop below 10°c consistently, now is the time to begin planting bulbs such as tulips, crocus and daffodils which will flower in the spring.
These plants are easy to care for and will bring some much-needed colour in the early spring to planters, borders and beds.