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One of the best things about summer is the flowers that bloom and the spark of life which takes over your garden and covers it in a rainbow of colour. Plants are a huge part of what makes spring and summer many people’s favourite seasons- with beautiful primroses springing to life, buddleia attracting butterflies and bees, and wild berry bushes coming into bloom.
Winter however is a different storey, your garden begins to sink back into the landscape, the flowers which once blossomed are long gone, and you are left with grass and twigs. But before you call up the Patio Company to cover the space in slabs, there are things you can do to protect your garden and get your plants ready for the next year, when they’ll bloom once more.
Perennials means that the plant will return every single year and flower again. Many perennials such as Anemone will sink into hibernation in order to come back stronger and fuller in the spring. However, it is helpful if you can read up on each different plant and figure out how the cold will affect them, you may be able to make some changes in order to keep the plants alive.
There are two different types of annual plant, and what you need to do with them depends on which type they are:
Annuals will die after the year is over, which is why you need to take a few measures if you want these plants to be a part of next seasons growth:
- Keep polyspun garden fabric to cover plants in frost
- Collect seeds of plants you want to keep
- Dig up dead plants and place in compost bin
- Mulch plant beds to encourage growth when you plant your seeds in the spring
- Collect seed of plant you want to keep
- Cover with polyspun garden fabric if frost threatens
- Take cuttings of geraniums and begonias- and use them as houseplants
To look after bulbs such as tulips and daffodils, dig them up and brush of excess dirt. You can then mulch the plant beds to prepare the ground for spring and stop the bed from cracking in harsh weather. Store your bulbs in a container or box with holes in to allow oxygen in, space them out with paper and don’t let them touch. Store in a cool place.
Trees and Shrubs
Just like annuals, there are two different types of tree and shrub. These plants are usually hardier than the others in your garden but there are still some steps you can take to protect them.
Cool-Climate Trees and Shrubs
- Water trees and shrubs well before the ground freezes to keep them alive
- Fertilize young trees and shrubs to help them grow and thrive
- Winterize shrub roses – spread mulch over the lower part of the canes
Warm-Climate Trees and Shrubs
- Water citrus and avocado trees well
- Stop feeding tropical trees and shrubs in September- this signals them to harden for hibernation
- Prune dead branches to avoid rotting