Now, while I am not especially green-fingered, I do like to make sure that my garden looks nice come the spring/summer months. Last year I took no notice over the winter period and at Easter when we thought to have a barbeque, I was horrified at how awful it looked! Learning from my mistakes this year, I am going to try my best to keep it maintained during the cold period. From doing my research I have learnt that it is actually quite easy to keep your garden maintained, and I was stupid to neglect it previously as it makes so much more work for yourself!
While tidying is essential in any garden, over-doing it can actually have a negative effect (now that’s what I like to hear!). The break-down and ‘mulch’ left in autumn from decomposing leaves and plants is actually good to help maintain the temperature of the soil throughout winter. I have collected and shredded the leaves that have already fallen and put them onto my compost to help them decompose a bit quicker. As it is still fairly mild I am going to give that a few more weeks and then distribute it out around the garden. This means that it is almost empty to start adding to again, very satisfying!
I have always known that winter is an important time to put bird feeders up as it is very difficult for wildlife to find food once the ground starts to harden. But what I didn’t realise was that by attracting a variety of birds you are encouraging them to do your pest control and weeding for you over the winter months. Moreover, once the weather begins to warm up again, the birds will help to pollinate and spread your seeds, helping your spring time spruce up! Plus, I love watching them all out of the window on frosty mornings while I wait for the kettle to boil!
While I didn’t do much digging myself anyway, I have been pleased to learn that it is actually better to refrain from doing this at such a late stage in the year. With the harder soil as the temperature drops, digging will actually cause more damage than good. Instead, it is recommended that you spread compost to help keep the ground nourished as it starts to settle for winter.
I also discovered over the summer that it is in fact autumn or winter that is best for tree stump removals, so I have been waiting for the cooler weather to book that in. I currently have 3 stumps that need removing, personally I would have much preferred the trees but it was the choice of the previous owners! If I am serious about my conservatory extension (i.e. if I can persuade my husband) then the stumps will need to go. As you may have realized, I am not the most adept person in the garden so I am paying my usual stump removal Surrey based experts to come out and help me, just to be sure I don’t do any damage!
Compared to the hard work I ended up having to do Spring time last year to recover my garden after winter, these small little jobs actually seem pretty easy! Simply just keeping an eye on the things going on in your garden helps you to maintain it, for instance if your pond freezes over simply pop a ping pong ball in it to keep a section for its local wildlife to be able to drink. Or having a quick check of your gardening equipment and getting any mechanical equipment serviced before storing it away for the next few months means they will be in great working order for your spring clean!