Autumn brings new challenges for gardeners as well as homeowners who want to make sure their roofing is in order ahead of the winter. Here are ten tips for gardeners on how to get ready for the change of season that’s fast approaching.
Audit your tools
Autumn brings with it a few hands-on jobs in the garden like clearing up leaves and emptying pots. You have to make sure that you’ve got all the relevant tools to accomplish these tasks (many of which are listed below). The first step, therefore, is to do a little inventory of what garden tools you’ve got and what you’ll need to buy or borrow.
Clean your patio
This might seem like a strange task considering the patio doesn’t get used as much over the autumn and winter seasons, but it’s necessary all the same. It’s better to prepare for the wet weather with a clean patio than with a dirty one because otherwise you’ll give yourself a bigger job in the spring. Fortunately, this is a job you can do come rain or shine.
Tidy the garden shed
The garden shed is likely to be asked to accommodate a lot of things from autumn onwards. Make sure there’s enough room for the bits of furniture and other items you’ll end up bringing inside to protect them from the elements. A good tidy usually yields extra space and it gives you the chance to throw away things that are just collecting dust. Remember to address any roofing issues here because the whole point of moving things inside is to keep them dry!
Sort out your garden lighting and heating
When the nights draw in you can’t rely on natural light any longer. You need decent garden lighting and heating to support those evenings you spend outdoors enjoying the festivities of events like Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night. Chimineas, patio heaters and fire pits give a bit of heat while solar-powered rods situated around the garden and wall lights are a great idea.
Treat your outdoor furniture
Some varieties of garden furniture don’t do well when they are exposed to rain, wind and cold temperatures – particularly wooden furniture. It’s important to treat them with the right oils and stains to make sure they withstand the change of climate. Otherwise, you need to take them inside and protect them. Furniture covers act as a happy medium if you haven’t the room to put these items in the shed but you still want to keep the moisture off them.
Treat your fences and shed
The same applies to the fences, the garden shed and any other wooden structures you might have outside like arbours, gazebos, kennels and so on. Treat them to prevent the wood from rotting if the weather turns very wet and very nasty.
Support your garden wildlife
Wildlife contributes a great to the atmosphere in our gardens and it’s important we support species of birds and other animals like hedgehogs through this very challenging period. They need plenty of food to make it through the winter so think about adding bird feeders to the garden and don’t be frightened of putting fat balls and bread out for the critters. If you collect leaves in the lawn, consider putting some of them in the darker corners of your garden for animals that hibernate.
Empty ceramic pots
Your ceramic pots might succumb to a process known as exfoliation – they get very cold at night and warm up again during the day and the regular change means that water that works its way into grooves and cracks freezes and dries repeatedly. This can crack your pots. Empty them and take them indoors, replacing them with all-weather pots if you can.
Stock borders and window boxes for winter
The summer flowers and plants that have dressed your borders and window boxes won’t survive the colder temperatures and reduced sunlight. Swap them for hardier plants that are good at handling the elements. This helps tide things over from an aesthetic point of view.
Grab the opportunity to mow the lawn
You may not get that many opportunities to mow the lawn over the winter because wet weather always seems to conspire against you. Get out there when it’s dry to manage growth over the autumn and winter because grass thrives when it’s wet. Other than that, it’s a question of raking up leaves and feeding the lawn to keep it looking healthy.
York Timber Products is home to a wide selection of garden sheds, children’s playhouses, dog kennels and other garden features. The team also offers a made to order service for bespoke timber products.