Garden Calendar - How to Prepare Your Garden for Winter

Garden Calendar - How to Prepare Your Garden for Winter

Warm days and balmy summer evenings in the garden are nearing their end. As the late summer warmth slowly starts to subside with autumn waiting around the corner, it’s time to prepare your garden for autumn and winter.

Autumn preparations often set the bar for how lush your garden will be the next season. So don’t let your garden go into winter mode until you’ve given it some love and care!

In our Garden Calendar, we offer our best tips and advice on how to best prepare your garden for the colder months of the year.

Good basic tools for the garden

  • Wheelbarrow
  • Leaf basket
  • Leaf and grass collector
  • Plastic rake
  • Secateurs
  • Pruning set, 3 parts
  • Hoe
  • Weeder

Your garden in September

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Planting

Although spring and summer are over, September is a good month for our gardens, where you can enjoy the last flowers of summer, but also plant some new ones. The soil is warm, the air is humid, and the sun is still shining brightly. Therefore, you can take the chance to plant tasty berry bushes, various trees and shrubs, or why not a perennial flowerbed?

Lawn

It’s almost time for the final lawn mowing of the season. When you mow your lawn in September, you should raise the mowing height. This will help to make the lawn more resistant when the temperature starts to drop. September is also a good month for sowing new grass and spreading out grass fertiliser because the soil is still moist.

Greenhouse

Before the first nightly frost touches your garden, it may be good to move your more exotic plants into the greenhouse. Also take the opportunity to clean the greenhouse by clearing out wilted plants and wiping pots and other surfaces with a dish brush and ordinary washing-up liquid. By cleaning properly, you will hopefully avoid problems with wintering pests. A good tip is to place empty pots upside down and stack them atop each other so that they do not crack from the frost when the winter cold hits.

Pruning trees and shrubs

In late summer, it’s time to prune some of your stone fruits, fruit trees, shrubs, and leafy hedges. When pruning your plants, it’s important that you use the right tools for the job. When pruning larger branches, it can be a good idea to use a loppers or a pruning saw. If you need to trim your hedges, you can use sharp hedge trimmers or secateurs.

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Your garden in October

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Planting

Depending on where in the country you live, the first frost may begin to creep in during October. Then it’s time to plant your frost-sensitive plants in a pot and store them in a frost-free, dry and bright area. Preferably in a conservatory or in a garage if you have the opportunity to give the plants supplementary lighting.

Lawn

Before the cold and snow come, it’s a good idea to rake and thoroughly clean your lawn. Maybe a final mow before the winter? When the ground temperature drops to around 7 degrees, the grass stops growing, which also means that it does not need to be mowed any more.

When you do your last lawn mowing of the season, the grass should be to a height of about 5 centimetres. If the grass is left too long during the winter, the lawn can suffocate if pushed down by the snow.

If you have lots of leaves lying on the lawn, they should be raked up so that they don’t suffocate the grass when they accumulate in wet piles. Collect the leaves in a composter or rake them into the flowerbed or under bushes.

Flowerbeds

As mentioned above, leaves can be strewn into flowerbeds and under shrubbery. This provides some protection against the winter cold, but they also broken down by worms into nutritious mulch.

If you have perennials in the flowerbeds, you can let these wilt and leave them be, since the wilted tops protect the plants during the winter.
If you have fruit trees in your garden, you need to pick up the fallen fruit to prevent fungal diseases.

Trimming hedges

If you have a coniferous hedge, such as thuja, spruce or yew, you should trim it during the autumn after they have stopped growing. Depending on where in the country you live, you can trim your hedges either in September or October, before it gets too cold. Trimming coniferous plants requires you to be a little careful and prune only the young shoots, otherwise there is a risk the plant will wilt.

Your garden in November

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By November, the snow has come to some parts of the country, and the days and nights are getting colder.  Therefore, November is a quiet month in the garden because there is not much to do.

Greenhouse

If you have a greenhouse or a conservatory, you can use bubble wrap to create a wintering room for your Mediterranean plants in cold November. The bubble wrap insulates while also letting light through to the plants. For example, you can insulate your olive tree, citrus plants, thyme, or rosemary.

When the temperature drops below zero, you will also need to use with a fan heater, so that the plants do not freeze. Don’t forget to air out the small bubble wrap space that you have built around the plant, otherwise condensation will form which cause mould on the plants.

Lawn

If more leaves have fallen on the lawn, you should rake these up, otherwise they risk suffocating the grass when the snow comes. Rake the leaves under bushes or into flowerbeds. There they will decompose and enrich the soil with nutrients, which is good for the plants.

Your garden in December

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In December, the snow lies deep in some places, which is actually good for the plants because a layer of snow protects and insulates against the worst cold and frost. If it’s really cold outside and you don’t have a thick layer of insulating snow, you can protect your plants with mulch or spruce needles.

Prevent deer from visiting

If you live near forest, deer may be regular visitors to your garden. This is also the case during the winter months. Protect your trees and plants from deer using protective guards that you place on tree trunks or using nets that you place around your plants. Also make sure that there is no fallen fruit left, because it is a tasty dinner for our four-legged friends.

Caring for the birds

In snow and sub-zero temperatures, birds find it more difficult to find food. Help them by hanging up tallow balls or birdseed.

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