Now that the colder weather is fast approaching, it is time to start preparing the garden for the onset of winter. This blog post provides a list of essential jobs that need to be carried out to keep things shipshape and ready for the burst of activity next spring!

Prune those bushes

Throughout summer you may have used your fencing or trellis to support beautiful climbing plants or fruit and veg. It’s important to clear away and prune plants, to ensure the integrity of the timber fencing is not affected. Leaving plant matter on your fence over the wetter winter months can create ‘in-ground’ conditions and can start to damage the fence itself. Not to mention this would impact your 25-year guarantee (if the fencing was supplied by us).  

When pruning, it’s a good time to cut back any trees that are located near your fencing. If a bad storm hits and the branch breaks it could damage your fencing.  

Mow your lawn for winter

In winter, the wet and lack of sunlight affect the lawn. As the leaves fall, rake them away regularly – saving them for other purposes (see the step below). You should complete a final mow for the year around the beginning of November, when there is a dry spell.  

 

Leaf litter and garden debris

Leaf Litter

A blanket of autumn leaves on any flower beds will provide a layer of protection against the inevitable harsh frosts and freezing snow associated with winter.  Once all the borders are clean of any lingering weeds, a thick layer of fallen leaves (compost or well rotted manure can be applied too) will provide a rich mulch. 

It’s important not to build up or push dead leaves up against timber fencing. Our timber gravel boards are treated with a higher concentration of our unique Jakcure® timber treatment and are therefore made for life in the ground. Our gravel boards are there to stop our the fence panels coming into contact with the ground. It is therefore integral not to pile leaves or debris high enough to touch the fence panels.  

Maintain garden borders

Check through any borders in the garden and dig up any annual plants, these can be consigned to the compost heap!  While the soil is still warm, now is a good time to review any plants which may have been struggling in their current location and move them to a spot better suited to their favoured growing conditions.  You should also look out for any overcrowded perennials that may be getting too large and will benefit from being divided up into a series of smaller plants. Pansies and wallflowers can be planted now to deliver an impressive display of colour early next spring. 

Welcome for wildlife

Keeping things natural in the garden also benefits visiting wildlife. The leaves which are spread over flowerbeds provide an ideal habitat for thrushes and blackbirds during the winter as well frogs and other invertebrates.  Don’t cut hedges back until the very end of winter so that any visiting birds are able to benefit from their shelter – as well as forage on any berries.  For the same reason, leave in situ any ivy that is weaving its way up walls and fences in the garden. Insect eaters such as tits will thank you for maintaining an environment that attracts the pests and aphids that they regularly devour.
blackbird

Help for hedgehogs

The UK hedgehog population is in steep decline, we’ve lost over a third of the population in the last ten years. At Jacksons we are very conscious of our impact on the population and are passionate about advocating ways to help them in your garden.  

In 2015 we created the hedgehog friendly gravel board. The hedgehog gravel board has a small hedgehog sized hole that allow hedgehogs to roam freely from garden to garden in their search for food and mates.  

There are other ways to help hedgehogs in your garden. Creating a hedgehog house is great activity to get young people involved in. Visit the hedgehog street for more details on building DIY hedgehog houses.  

You can also provide easy access to a shallow dish of fresh water and some food. Leave out foods like cat food (not fish based) or crushed cat biscuits.  

 

hedgehog

All hands on deck

A deck can come into its own during the winter, providing a convenient way of experiencing the outdoors without all the mud and dirt associated with a traditional garden setting.  However, don’t forget to give the deck a good clean using a pressure washer or a stiff brush or scraper to remove any moss or lichen on the boards, which can represent a serious slip hazard. If you are installing a new deck, opt for decking boards with deep grooves to provide a safe slip free surface.  All Jacksons decking features grooved boards available in either standard or heavy-duty formats.  A slip resistant board featuring two grit strips per board is also available. 
Anti-slip decking