Let It Snow! Advice for Winter-Proofing Your Garden

snow-garden-2The Midlands has been seeing increasing amounts of snow over the past few Winters, and it’s looking like that will only be getting worse. The cold can do damage to your garden if it’s left unattended, but with just a little maintenance, you can enjoy a beautiful snowy scene outside your home which will be completely undamaged when Spring comes!

Buildings

  • If you have a greenhouse on your property, make sure that there’s no damage to any glass panes or tears in any of the seals or polythene. Snow can worsen these problems. Clear snow as soon as possible from your greenhouse to make sure it doesn’t buckle.
  • Keep your greenhouse heater well stocked with fuel!
  • Check your shed roof for torn felting, and repair or replace as necessary, to prevent damp or leaks getting into it.

Ponds, Birdbaths & Pools

  • If you can afford a pond heater, invest in one, especially if you have fish.
  • If you’ve got a birdbath, placing a tennis ball in the water can prevent it from freezing, so long as you supply fresh water every day and keep bird food well stocked.

Plant Life

  • Knock snow off of leaves when you see it, as heavy snow can break branches, and freeze the life from weaker plants.
  • Make use of evergreen plants and trees whenever possible. These plants have evolved ways of surviving the British winter.

Containers

  • Don’t leave containers lying around: store them in a dry, high place. Snow can cover containers, making them potentially hazardous.

Pathways

  • Use rock salt on your pathways to ensure they’re safe to walk on. Many an injury has been caused by slipping on snow and ice: this is especially hazardous for children and the elderly.

Don’t forget that the cold can actually be a good thing for your garden! Pests find it difficult to survive our British winters, and snow can insulate your lawn and plants against the freezing wind. Nature equips many plants with a kind of hiberation which sees them through to Spring. Brickwork, masonry and woodwork isn’t so lucky, to keep your eyes peeled for structural problems until March!

That’s all for this month: Merry Christmas, and we’ll see you again next month for a Happy New Year!

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