Don't Ignore Your Garden This Time Of Year
When the days get darker, colder and wetter, we all close the doors on our gardens and forget they are there until spring returns and we realise there’s work to be done. Winter, however is a very important time for the garden and in many cases, there’s more to do than has been all year.
According to most traditional sources, we should stop cutting lawns at the end of September and begin again in March/April. With our climate ever changing, our lawns needs are differing from year to year and the season has extended at least to the end of November. Most Grass species stops growing when temperatures drop below 5 degrees and there are usually 10 – 15 different types of grass in the majority of lawns. This year, for example, the temperature has not dropped below that yet, and so grass is still actively growing. If we stop cutting our lawns now, we will have long, untidy grass all winter, and indeed have a struggle on our hands in the spring to get it back to our desired standards.
November is the best time of year to scarify our lawns. Scarification is the removal of thatch in lawns, caused by the build up of dead rhizomes and stolons in the lawn. Lawn clipping s causing thatch is a common myth, and in fact, leaving cuttings on the lawn every now and then is good for the lawn! Thatch causes a number of problems in lawn if not removed regularly, including root rot, lack of drainage and also lack of water getting to grass roots in dry periods. There are a few reasons why November is the best time to remove thatch from our lawns. One is because the weeds and moss in our lawns are more dormant at this time of year, thus preventing them spreading. Another is that we generally don’t look at our lawns over winter, so don’t mind the fact that a proper scarification will look as though a bomb has hit our lawns!
Arguably the most important feed of the year, a good autumn or winter-feed will have a low nitrogen and phosphorus count and a higher potassium count. Potassium helps strengthen the lawn and prevent diseases, rather than making it green or grow quicker like spring and summer feeds. This is vital to the lawn as it helps it through the harsher weather of winter and provides a thicker, stronger lawn for the following year.
Shrubs and Hedges
Now is the time to be cutting back shrubs and hedges that are starting to get too big or out of shape. When the temperature drops, the sap stops to rise in plants, which means we can be a lot harsher with what we do. Hedges and shrubs that have gotten too big or out of shape can really benefit from a hard cut back this time of year and will often thrive from it in the year to come. Levelling or reducing hedges that have grown too far over borders or pathways improves the look of our gardens and also allows smaller plants a chance to grow.
Trees are often the most neglected plant in the garden. We let them do their own thing and forget about them until we start having problems. Trees in fact need as much, if not more, attention than most of the smaller plants in the garden. We need to be aware of the size of trees, as this determines the size of roots, which can affect the structure of garden buildings or even our homes. Dead wood should be removed to prevent it falling, again causing potential damage. Pests and diseases also need to be checked for to prevent trees becoming hazardous. Winter is an important time to have trees inspected, before the harsher of weather systems arrive.
Problematic diseases, such as honey fungus, only start to present themselves this time of year and should also be checked for. Rotting roots, decaying or dead limbs can be extremely hazardous during strong winds or heavy rain and snow, and so should be inspected and dealt with sooner rather than later. It is also a lot cheaper to have problems rectified before they become too bad, rather than having a tree fall and demolish our property or having to have the whole tree removed because disease has spread too much.
There are also plenty of other jobs to be done in the garden such as gutter cleaning, leaf clearing, hard landscaping and much much more. So to truly put the garden to bed, without having to lift a finger, why not call your local nicenstripy gardener and ask for their advice and recommendations as to what your garden requirements are on 0800 014 2420.
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