The Starks of Winterfell might be fond of saying “winter is coming” it’s pretty clear to just about everyone that winter is just about here. There’s a crisp chill in the air, and everyone has started to wrap up warm in the cosiest scarves and jumpers. The time for BBQs has past and the time for hot cocoa under a blanket is officially here. Now, whether or not you’re a fan of the cold weather, there is one part of your life that is most certainly not: your garden. A lot of people tend to just write their garden off when the winter rolls around because it feels as though there’s absolutely nothing that they can do with it. And, to a certain extent, this is true. After all, trying to mow the lawn when it’s entirely frozen is a pretty pointless exercise. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things that you can do to get your garden ready for the winter so that when the weather finally does warm up, you’re not stuck dealing with a whole bunch of problems. With that in mind, here are some things that you need to do to your garden before the winter really sets in.
Set up a greenhouse
There are few things more useful to a garden in the winter than a greenhouse. Of course, greenhouses are useful all year round for growing all kinds of plants, but during the winter they allow you to keep growing certain crops that might otherwise never stand a chance in the cold weather. Instead of greenhouse glass consider acrylic or polycarbonate for your greenhouse for longer lasting. Sure, you’re probably still not going to get the kind of crop that you might expect when things are a lot warmer, but as long as there’s sun shining on the glass of your greenhouse then you’re going to be able to grow at least a few things, even if it gets seriously chilly.
Clear out the weeds
A lot of flowers and vegetables might not be able to survive the harshness of winter, but plenty of weeds can. This leads a lot of people to end up in the position where they have to wade through loads of weeds just to be able to get to their garden at all. Sure, you’re not always going to be able to stop the weeds from growing up keeping your garden tidy before the winter sets in means that you’ll have a lot less work to do when it’s over. Not only that but a neat and tidy garden is going to be a lot less stressful to look at when you’re not in a position to do much about it because of the weather.
Mow the lawn
In the same way that a garden covered in weeds is going to look pretty rubbish, if you let your lawn grow too much over the winter then it’s going to end up making your garden look more like an overgrown jungle than anything else. Not only that but letting the grass get too long can often lead to the soil underneath becoming incredibly lumpy. The best thing that you can do is to make sure that you keep your lawn trimmed as much as possible right up until the moment where the weather makes it totally impossible. This might be because it gets too cold or because things just get too wet and muddy to be able to mow the lawn effectively. That way your lawn doesn’t get the head start it needs to grow into the ridiculous mess that so many of us end up having to deal with around March.
Harvest what you’ve grown
There are probably a few vegetables that you’ve been growing that you’ve told yourself just need a couple more weeks to finally get to the size that you want. Well, it’s time to settle for what you’ve got because there’s a pretty solid chance that those veg aren’t going to get any better. It’s far better to harvest what you’ve got before things get really cold than it is to hold out hope that they’ll survive the winter. Sure, you might have some slightly small turnips or radishes, but that’s better than ones that are half frozen and half rotten! And if you haven’t really had that much success in terms of the stuff that you’ve grown, well… there’s always next year!
Flatten lumpy areas
Most gardens have a few lumpy areas that can be a little bit of an annoyance. Whether it’s uneven beds or lumps in your lawn that make sitting on it pretty uncomfortable. However, as annoying as that might be during the spring and summer, that’s nothing compared to the nightmare that it can be during the winter. The biggest issue comes when the weather turns wet. The cold weather and lack of sun make it harder for the garden to dry out and this means that water just builds up. In lower areas, it can become a serious issue, and you could even run the risk of certain areas of your garden flooding. The best thing to do is to make sure that you keep everything flat all year round but if you haven’t done that, then you should at least make an effort to deal with it before the cold weather really settles in for the season. That way, you’ll still have a sloppy, muddy garden, but at least you’re not going to have certain areas that are practically waterlogged because the water has been draining into it all through the winter months.
These things aren’t particularly difficult jobs, but the consequences of not doing them can be a real pain in the backside. It might not be the most fun thing in the world getting out into the garden when you can see your breath, and you need three layers just to keep the cold out, but when your garden is still looking halfway decent when spring finally rolls around, you’ll be grateful that you put in this amount of effort.