As the plants wither and trees hunker down to tackle the winter months, ploughing on with jobs in the garden during this time can be a matter of balancing the head and the heart – there are plenty of practical jobs to be carried out as your imagination can run riot as you prepare for a burst of life in the spring.
Here are a few tasks to consider carrying out before the winter, before you hunker down for the colder bookend of the year.
1. PREPARE YOUR PLANTERS AND TUBS
Now is a great time to spruce up your planters, especially around your garden summerhouse, to create a pop of colour over the grey wintertime. Plants such as winter-flowering pansies can last through to the spring, and if you underplant with bulbs, such as daffodils or tulips, you are in for a colourful treat as the seasons change. It is also advisable to raise your pots onto feet to prevent water logging.
2. FEELING ROSY
It is a great time to prune your roses and remove any diseased leaves and stems – once again, a little bit of work now will ensure a glorious display next year. Reducing their height will also protect them as the weather gets stormy.
3. PERFECT BORDERS
Now is the perfect time to tidy up your borders, tackle any weeds and start removing the dead leaves as winter takes a hold of your garden. October is also a good time to plant new shrubs, especially evergreens and conifers that will last a lifetime. Again, it is a chance to look ahead and start planning for next year.
4. THE GRASS IS ALWAYS GREENER
October is a good time to care for the lawn around your outdoor summer house. Often you can carry out your final mow and it is an opportunity to repair any damage by reseeding. You can get even more adventurous and create a new lawn by laying turf and start making your garden dreams a reality.
5. KEEP YOUR PLANTS SAFE FROM THE COLD
As the leaves change, it is a good idea to prepare for that first frost. It is important to move delicate plants into sheltered spots within your garden. Keep them warm by wrapping containers and pots in bubble wrap, and the plant itself with horticultural fleece.
6. CHECK THAT YOUR GREENHOUSE HEATERS ARE WORKING
If you have heaters in your greenhouse, check these are working before the temperatures fall further, and insulate with bubble wrap to prevent any heat from escaping.
7. INSULATE OUTDOOR TAPS AND PREVENT PONDS FROM FREEZING
To prevent the outdoor water supply from freezing, insulate any taps and keep an eye on your pond. A ball floating around on your pond will delay freezing, whilst a more sophisticated pond heater or water feature will prevent freezing altogether. If you have fish and it does freeze over, do not smash the ice as this can harm them.
For more garden tips and advice on how you can get your garden ready for the winter visit the RHS website.