Prepare your garden for winter

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Autumn is here and before we know it, winter will have arrived but is your garden ready for the cooler weather that comes with the winter months?

By taking a few simple measures, you can be sure that your garden will remain in top shape over winter to be ready for the fruitful season of spring.

Despite feeling less inclined to work in the garden when it is cold out, horticulturalist and gardening guru Adam Woodhams as well as garden and lawn care expert Victa say that it is important and easy to get out and “winterise” your garden.

It is common for your lawn to look a little under-the-weather in the winter months due to the majority of lawns being warm season varieties, meaning that they don’t grow as well in winter.

“The onset of the cooler weather means that your lawn’s growth slows dramatically, and it has to tolerate not just the cold conditions, but reduced daylight hours and often increased overshadowing,” Mr Woodhams said.

“Your lawn will use up its stored energy reserves as it struggles to make do with the limited sunlight and it will be in a weaker state, making it more susceptible to some diseases and weed invasion.”

Many weeds grow in the cooler seasons to take advantage of your lawn’s weakened state so ensure that your combat them immediately, before they can seed.

Mowing should be kept to around once every three to four weeks in winter and when you do jump on your Victa, switch your mower onto ‘catch mode’ rather than mulch and raise your mower height to allow as much leaf surface to catch the sunlight and keep it growing strong.

Prune and cut back trees around your lawn to maximise the sunlight and avoid watering the lawn as it may encourage fungal growth, but don’t be afraid to use a winter fertiliser.

There are certain parts of your garden that benefit from a little bit of “tender, loving care” in winter, even the non-living parts.

“Winter is the perfect time to plan and undertake bigger projects such as paving, as you’ll find it’s much more comfortable than working in the hot sun when summer comes around again,” Mr Woodhams said.

“There’s also a lot that can be done plant-wise so they come blooming back for spring. It won’t take much of your time to keep your garden looking healthy during winter, and by doing a few key things in your garden, it will look great all year round.”

A winter vegie garden is sure to keep you busy over the cooler months, if you haven’t started already it is recommended that you get to work sowing your peas, beans, English spinach, carrots and corn.

Pruning is also a Winter job; roses can be cut right back as can grape vines, wisteria, crepe myrtles and hydrangeas however, avoid pruning any spring flowering shrubs or trees.

Winter is also the ideal time to move and transplant your trees, perennials and bulbs, removing dead heads and finished flowers as you go.

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