The end of the summer months and arrival of autumn can elicit a wide range of feelings and emotions in us gardeners. Soon, however, the summer of 2020 will be all but a distant memory, and we turn our thoughts to the possibilities of what next year might bring. As the temperature drops and the nights rapidly begin drawing in, it's crucial that you don't just forget about your garden because it's not as productive as it once was.
Here are 4 steps to winter proofing your garden.
1. Insulate your greenhouse
As temperatures drop, you can help to lock in heat in the greenhouse by insulating your under cover space. Bubble wrap does the trick nicely and is easy to put up and take down at different times of the year.
While re-using excess packaging from an online order might be appealing, its best to opt for some sturdier horticultural bubble wrap that is UV-stabilised. This can be ordered via gardening websites or found at gardens.
2. Think soil replenishment
One of the easiest and smartest ways to increase yields for next year, is to boost soil now using green manures. These plants improve the structure of the earth and prevent erosions and create a covering to suppress weeds.
Roughly dig over the soil, remove any weeds and scatter green manure seeds evenly over your chosen area. Lightly rake the ground and water well. Keep conditions moist and seedling should appear within a few weeks.
3. Pruning fruit trees
There is something about fruit tree pruning that seems to install pure panic and fear into gardeners. But it's an important part of the fruit gardening calendar.
Prune fruit trees and bushes, such as apples and pears, in autumn by chopping back dead, diseased or dying growth. But leaves trees like peaches, plums and cherries until summer, as doing so in winter can make them vulnerable to silver leaf disease.
4. Compost, compost, compost
With less time sowing, planting and harvesting over the coming months, why not turn your attention to starting a compost heap?
The majority of garden waste can be used to boost crops in future seasons. Alternatively produce your own leaf mould when collecting up autumn leaves. Simply pop leaves in black plastic bags, poke holes through the material to allow a level of air flow and leave it alone for a couple of years. Within this time the foliage will decompose and turn into crumbly compost.