I know, I know, it feels as though fall has barely… fallen. Many of us are still clinging to the dying breaths of summer. And in some areas we may still be enjoying unseasonably clement weather. But when it comes to your garden, it’s important to be proactive, and prepared for the rigors of the season. After all, in these troubled and unpredictable times, your garden has taken on a new level of importance. In a world that seems full of risk and danger, a world where the uncovered mouth and nose of a stranger can seem like a potentially life threatening risk, we’re all spending a little more time in our gardens to get our daily dose of plants, trees, grass and fresh air. Spending time out doors is a great stress reliever and a natural mood booster that we all need more than ever in this period of uncertainty.
The good news, however, is that you don’t need to wait until spring to roll around to enjoy spending time in the garden. You can continue to enjoy the beauty of your own little piece of nature throughout fall and even in the winter months. It’s just a case of being proactive and getting ready to face the coming challenges of next season.
Clear your pathways
Fall and winter alike can present challenges for your pathways. Fallen leaves, frost and eventually snow can make it less easy and safe to navigate your garden’s walkways. So now’s the time to check that your snowblower is ready for action. If your machine needs oil you may find this useful. Rake up leaves on a daily basis and keep an eye out for rogue weeds. They can be particularly aggressive in the winter months. Remember, don’t throw your fallen leaves away. Keep them to one side for composting to make your garden more sustainable.
Insulate plants and shrubs from cold damage
Many of the shrubs and plants in your garden will appear to die off in the winter months but bounce back with an explosion of color next spring. Just make sure you protect the roots. You may want to wrap up pots containing shrubs to insulate the roots from cold damage.
Protect your most vulnerable plants
Newly planted woodland plants land flowers may still be vulnerable and may not survive the cold winter unprotected. Fortunately, a little preparation can keep them safe until spring. Create a wigwam style tent out of bamboo canes and fleece or enviromesh fabric to protect them from the cold.
Aerate your lawn
Over the winter months the soil in your lawn can become compacted, preventing the grass and other plants from getting access to the nutrients in the soil. Aerating your lawn in fall can keep it healthy throughout winter and ensure a thick, healthy and lustrous lawn come spring.
It’s for the birds!
Finally, one of the best things about spending time in the garden is watching wild animals and birds at play. And when winter rolls around, passing birds will need all the help they can get. Make sure you leave a bird bath out for them as well as a table filled with snacks like peanuts and seeds.