Later autumn is a key time for getting your garden ready for winter. A little planning and action at this time of year can go a long way to safeguarding your plants and your gardens wildlife.
Plants – A lot of the more tender plants need protection from the frost for example the free ferns. The key here is to provide a cover that will provided some additional shelter to the plants but does not hold water against the plant. This is why horticultural fleece is such a useful product. Its light and does not hold water and dries quickly.
Garden Wildlife – for the wildlife in your garden winter is all about shelter and food. Provide your garden wildlife with these two items and most of the wildlife in your garden will reward you by eating the pests that attack you crops and plants in the spring and summer. Shelter is easy to provide with hedge hogs its about making sure they have access under your garden shed or compost heap. Toads love upturned clay pots on soft or sandy soil. With your garden birds especially the small one such as blue tits its about leaving a few shrubs slightly over grow or some ivy on a wall to prove them with a place to roots during the hardest days in winter. Food is another mater with birds it easy, just make sure you have a stock of wild bird food in store and ready to go. With other garden wildlife turning over some of your soil on your veg plot or boarders will often turn up a few beetles and other insects plus the odd worm or two to keep wildlife that been hibernating and woken up for a snack going until the spring.
Hoses and irrigation systems – both need to be emptied of water which can freeze in the frosts and fracture the pipes or hoses
Ponds – leave the cutting down of the foliage until the spring as it often provides a source of food for garden wildlife for example bull rush heads are a great source of food for finches. Its a good idea to place a small plastic blow up football in the pool or pond. This will stop the water freezing totally in a hard winter. Where the football is the water will not freeze around it leaving just a patch of clear water which helps stop the ice damaging the pond and allows fish and other garden wildlife access to clear water in big freezes.
Compost heaps – to keep your compost heaps of bins working during the winter its a good idea to cover or wrap them with carpet. This hold the heat in the compost and helps a number of bacteria and fungi break down the compost
Bulbs – Bulbs such a tulips and daffodils can be dug up and placed into storage but it largely depends on you soil. If its a wet clay soil you can loss your bulbs if left in the ground.
For more ideas on keeping you garden in great shape this winter Click Here