We all love spending time in the garden when it's sunny and after one of the hottest summers in the UK on record, the trend is set to continue.
However, for many, the temptation to make the most of your garden furniture and the motivation to spend time preening your plants to perfection dramatically drops as the colder weather rolls in.
Outdoor building manufacturer, Tiger Sheds, surveyed the nation to unveil their garden habits, revealing that a massive two in five (40%) of Brits don’t take precautions to prepare their garden or garden buildings for the cooler weather.
What’s more, 52% completely abandon their gardens and fail to do any gardening throughout winter. Almost one in ten (9%) said that they don’t care for their garden in winter because they think that their plants will die regardless, and 8% said they would just replace anything that that is damaged by the winter weather - but at what cost?
As a nation we are keen to retreat indoors as soon as the chilly weather hits, with only 4% of Brits saying winter is the season they spend the most time caring for their garden. It seems the frosty weather is quick to discourage even the most avid gardeners from pottering around their outdoor space, with the cold temperature coming out as the number one reason to avoid gardening in the winter (67%).
The top four reasons people don’t garden in the winter are:
1: It’s too cold to be outside gardening (67%)
2: The flowers and leaves don’t come through until spring so there is little payoff (31%)
3: Not spending enough time outdoors in the winter for it to be worth it (25%)
4: Slippery surfaces (20%)
Abandoning our gardens while we spend less time in them may seem inevitable, however, experts from Tiger Sheds offer four top tips for homeowners to ensure their garden and garden buildings survive the frosty weather and all the money and time spent perfecting green spaces in the summer months does not go to waste.
Protect your garden buildings
Make sure to weatherproof your building before the cold weather hits to reduce the risk of rot in the damp environment. You can also help protect your outdoor building with a simple lick of paint! As well as giving your garden a new lease of life, applying a fresh coat of paint gives your building some extra protection for the winter.
Another tip is to check that the windows and doors of your garden building are well-sealed to ensure that water can’t get in and cause further unwanted damage.
Don’t abandon your plants
There’s still life in them yet! Keeping your plants warm and dry is key for their survival. If you can, move plants indoors to keep them out of the cold and rain. If this isn’t possible, try to keep your plants near fences and other sheltered areas. To shield your plants from frost, use a protective cover overnight.
Grouping your potted plants together and/or wrapping them in bubble wrap will also help to keep them warm and prevent them from freezing or getting blown over in the bleak conditions. It’s also good to keep your plants in pots with drainage holes so excess moisture from heavy rainfall can drain out.
Store away garden furniture
Garden furniture can easily get damaged in the winter weather so it’s a good idea to store it away, ideally in a garden shed, where it can be sheltered from the snow and rain. Despite being designed to be outside, the wet weather makes furniture susceptible to damage so it’s good practice to pack it away before winter kicks in.
Don’t forget to maintain!
Maintenance matters - more than half of the nation (52%) tend to forget to look after their gardens during the colder seasons. Gardening in the winter doesn’t have to be strenuous but taking some time to look after your green space will make all the difference. One key tip is to keep trimming away problematic branches to reduce the risk of damage that could be caused in harsher weather.
Although it may not be the first area you think of when it comes to looking after your garden, the winter can have harsh effects on your lawn, so it’s important to stay on top of maintenance. Make sure you clear up any dead leaves as these prevent the grass from getting sunlight and water. It’s also a good idea to fertilize your lawn to restore any nutrients lost as a result of the frosty weather.
Jack Sutcliffe from Tiger Sheds said: “Understandably, it can be easy to ignore your garden in the winter, but it’s important to look after it throughout the colder months to ensure your green space bounces right back once spring comes along.
These tips are easy to follow yet can go a long way in protecting your garden from the cold British winter and ensure all the time, effort and money spent taking care of your garden in spring/summer wasn’t in vain.”