Capture it, transform it

Come winter our gardens start to look a little unloved.  It’s a tricky job keeping it maintained during these months as you are constantly battling with the elements, but there are a couple of tips which, if you adopt them in autumn, can ensure that you reap the benefits in Spring and your garden will return to full bloom.

Firstly, you might be asking why bother if it’s going to get ruined during the frost? It’s as simple as this, why wouldn’t you want to protect your investment, whether it’s the thick lush lawn that you have spent all summer working on or your brand-new patio? All areas of your garden need maintenance and autumn is the best time to do this. Admittedly it is hard work to keep up but it’s best to work on it every other week than leave it to the end of winter for one big clear up.

Watch out in particular for staining on your patio. At this time of the year, newly fallen leaves can drop onto existing leaves which means they rot quickly and leave nasty stains. The solution? Clear fallen leaves as soon as possible and store bags of leaves in your garage. This lets them rot safely until Spring, when you’ll have free fertiliser to help your garden be ready for Summer.

It’s also good practise to clear fallen leaves for health and safety reasons, as they can create a slip hazard for both you and guests to your home, especially if the soggy leaves freeze when the temperature plummets.

What about leaves on lawns? Do you need to deal with this too? Grass is a living organism which requires air and sunlight. Once the leaves start falling on top of it then it essentially suffocates and you’ll be left with a big muddy patch once you do get around to moving the leaves. You can help combat this by cutting your grass shorter than you normally would, this way the leaves are less likely to get caught in the grass and it makes your life a lot easier when it comes to tidying them up.

Or you can leave them until they are good and crunchy, if the weather has been kind and it hasn’t rained much, and then mow over them and they will break up into little pieces. If you use this method you can then actually leave them on the grass afterwards because they are small enough to serve as mulch and will actually keep the lawn moist and healthy throughout winter.

Of course, you can always go directly to the source of the problem and reduce the amount of leaves falling onto your property by pruning any overgrown teas; not only does this cut down the amount of leaves it can shed, but it also offers protection for your property in case of a storm where branches are likely to break off and cause damage.

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