With winter on the way, we need ways to keep ourselves insulated and warm. But it’s not only our bodies that need that warmth or, rather, protection from the cold. Garden owners should be particularly concerned about the conditions their garden will be in – too many assume that rain will be beneficial, but forget that there are other elements to winter that deserve proper caution.
For example, one of the most important considerations we should have is for “mulching”. GardeningKnowHow describes mulch as “[trapping] moisture in the soil so you don’t have to water as often, and it acts as an insulator so your plants’ roots don’t get too hot. (It has the same effect in the winter, keeping plants from getting too cold.) And it suppresses weeds, so you don’t have to weed as often”
They highlight the use of mulching for winter protection:
“One of the easiest and most effective ways to protect sensitive plants is by mulching. Mulching with an organic material will also help enhance the soil as the mulch decomposes and releases nutrients to the earth. In autumn, pull back old mulches from the base of plants and spread a new 3-inch layer around them out to the drip line. Leave a 1/2-inch space around the plant’s stem to allow air circulation and prevent rot.”
Some other tips for your garden could be to start using it to protect yourself. For example, you could plant trees and plants to help keep off rain and wind. This could mean choosing bigger shrubs, trees and plants, to help create cover – perhaps for smaller plants or against the wind’s general direction. You can use alternative materials, such as hardboard or other hard materials, to try protect vulnerable areas.
You should also consider leave mould. As BHG highlights, it’s a simple process to create it.
“You can make leaf mold the same way nature creates it on the forest floor. Just pile up moist leaves and wait for them to decompose. If you want to speed up the process, you can shred the leaves into smaller pieces before piling them up. Enclose the pile, if you wish, with snow fencing, chicken wire, or something similar to improve its appearance. Make sure the container allows air to circulate, because oxygen fuels the decomposition process. Over the winter, the pile will shrink as decay reduces the volume of leaves — a sign that the process is well under way.”
Mould will protect against weed and serves many other useful functions.
Protect your garden from winter and you’ll reap the benefits of a beautiful design through the harshest part of the year.