Monday, 16 December 2019

How to stop winter getting the better of your garden

How to stop winter getting the better of your garden

EXPERTS from garden furniture supplier BillyOh have identified six gardening problems that can arise during the winter.

A spokesperson said: “Gardeners shouldn’t have to simply grin and bear it during the colder and wetter months, so our experts have provided guidance to help homeowners quickly and easily deal with a range of typical winter garden problems.”

Their tips for winter garden care are as follows:

Clearing snow

Hard snow that has been compacted is harder to clear, so try to avoid walking on it while it’s still falling. For a light, thin layer, sweep the snow into the borders of your garden with a broom. For heavier snowfall, shovel it towards a drain or on to waste ground.

Raking dead leaves

Before raking leaves, consider the weather. Wet leaves are easier to scrape together into a stable pile, but will be heavier to dispose of. Waiting for leaves to dry before clearing is better if you’re using a vacuum or blower, as they won’t clog or stick – but remember to pick up any sticks, twigs or other debris beforehand.

Waterlogged lawns

To deal with a muddy or waterlogged patch of grass, the first thing to do is try to avoid walking on it as much as possible — and that includes pets. Use a classic pitchfork to create a series of small holes to improve the drainage and aeration of the lawn, and sweep puddles towards a drain.

Icy surfaces

The best solution for slippery or frozen patios, paths and decking is usually to grit with natural salt, sand or a specially-made mix. A solution of hot water including soap and rubbing alcohol can be useful, but be careful with boiling water alone as it may refreeze and create more ice later.

Slugs and snails

These slimy creatures hate crawling over rough or copper surfaces, and can also be deterred with coffee granules or smelly herbal plants including mint, garlic, sage and fennel. Slugs can be tempted away from plants by laying citrus peel elsewhere, and then removed as they gather. Sprays made from water and vinegar or ammonia will kill most snails and slugs, but might also be toxic to garden vegetation.

Frost

To fight frost, garden borders can be insulated with a layer of mulch, whilst protective sheets can be placed over the ground as loose covers to trap the warmer daytime air before nightfall.

Plants may be raised into pots or hanging baskets to avoid the cold ground, and potted plants can be moved into garages, sheds or outhouses if really cold weather is forecast.

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