#TuesdayTips - Winter garden maintenance and 2017 trends
Posted 18 October 2016 by Ben Salisbury
During the winter months it’s easy for us to retreat to the warmth of the home instead of spending time in the garden, but it still requires a little maintenance during these colder months to ensure that it is fighting fit for the next year.
Here are some handy tips for keeping your garden in great shape for the winter and some predictions for upcoming trends for the year ahead from garden specialists Oeco Garden Rooms so you can start planning for next year.
Winter is the ideal time of year to prepare an area for a new lawn; simply dig out the proposed area making sure to leave some clumps of soil on the surface. These clumps will be broken down by the frost creating a great base for the new lawn.
When maintaining your existing lawn it is important to realise that, on warmer days there will be some growth, but this can be kept to a minimum by not feeding the grass. However if the grass does grow longer than you’d like you can cut it, but we recommend only cutting it down by a third. Grass that is too short can have a hard time surviving the winter, whereas grass that is too long can become brittle with the frost, so a happy medium is required.
It is important to keep weeds and moss under control throughout winter as they can quickly take over your lawn. It is also a good idea to regularly rake fallen leaves and other debris so that the grass still has access to the sunlight.
Winter plant maintenance
As the temperatures drop, the plants that are not killed by the frost prepare to go dormant until the warmer weather comes. Cut off any blackened stems and clear out any dead foliage such as annual flowers and vegetables to prevent diseases from spreading to other areas of the garden.
Spread a thick layer of mulch over all of the remaining plants and soil; this keeps the temperature much more even so that the plants can acclimatise much faster without being stressed; fallen leaves from any trees on the property also make a good source of mulch so don’t discard them.
Gardening equipment maintenance
The lawnmower is rarely needed during the winter, so it is the perfect time to service it. Sharpen the blades and ensure that the engine is serviced to keep it in tip top condition. Empty any remaining fuel or check that the electricity lead is well maintained before storing away.
Drain all of your hoses to prevent frost attack and wrap hessian fabric around any external taps and pipe to protect them from the cold.
Tools which will not be needed such as lawn edger’s and pruning shears should be wiped clean and all metal parts sprayed with a lubricant like WD40 to prevent corrosion. For tools which will still be in use such as garden spades and forks should be cleaned off after each use and if stored for a while lubricated with WD40 also.
Upcoming garden trends for the year ahead
The winter months are a great time to plan out what to do with your garden when the weather starts to warm up. Here are some of our predictions of what will be big in the coming year:
Fed up with back-breaking mulching, pruning, trimming and endless lawn mowing that it takes to maintain a traditional garden? Many people are now turning to a more natural landscape by planting low care shrubs, grass and perennials. This relaxed attitude to gardening can produce a plethora of colours and textures to create a natural landscape which needs very little maintenance.
Berry bushes grown in containers
Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries are all great additions to any garden, but if you don’t have the space for a large bush why not try growing them in pots. Growing berries in pots doesn’t require much space, they can be moved to different parts of the garden if needed and are easier to maintain than larger bushes; it’s also a great way of getting the whole family involved in gardening.
Growing your own herbs
Herbs are among the easiest of plants to grow and require very little tending. Herbs can be grown in small pots on the windowsill or in bigger pots outside. Whichever herbs you choose to grow you will know that you are getting fresh and flavour packed herbs that are free from pesticides.
Garden rooms have become a popular choice for home owners who want to extend their living space without having to build a lengthy and expensive extension or loft conversion. Garden rooms can be used as hobby rooms, home studios or even home offices and because these structures are fully insulated they can be used all year round.
Hi tech gadgets
In this modern age, it was inevitable that technology would be integrated into the garden, and now there are a wide range of hi-tech gadgets available to help you create the perfect garden. From smart apps that remind you to water your plants and probes that tell you the health of your garden to smart lights that create ambient environments, technology has really moved on in the last couple of years and as these technology brands advance, so will the health of your garden.