Harsh weather conditions of any kind can be tough on your garden, and winter tends to have some of the harshest conditions. Even if you don’t live in a cold-weather climate, winter rain can do some serious damage to plants and garden decor a like. If you've invested time and money into your garden and acquired lots of equipment and decor to keep your garden beautiful and healthy, you don’t want to replace those elements every year after a harsh winter. Here are a few tips for taking care of and preserving your garden elements to keep them functioning for the long-term.
Caring For Equipment
In a world where much of the manufactured equipment doesn't last as long as it used to, it’s important to take extra care to ensure that you don’t have to purchase new equipment every year. Garden hoses, pond filters, bird feeders, and other equipment can take a beating. When the weather begins to settle into winter, take extra care to evaluate what you can remove from the outdoor space and take indoors to hibernate for the winter. Remember that not being able to find something is almost as costly as breaking it. Set aside space in an out building or your garage to store the equipment in an organized way, so you can find what you need next season, instead of having to go out and buy a new one. Rather than leaving a hose coiled up on the side of your garage, bring it inside to prevent it from cracking or drying out. Hang hoes, shovels, and gloves in designated areas.
Caring for Decor
Decor needs extra care. You can leave it out all winter long, and the snow may look quite fetching on it, but chances are your decor will decay sooner if it’s not removed during harsh winter weather. Road salt and sand can also take a beating on it, if your decor is anywhere near a road. Mill Race Garden Centre has lots of decor options and may be able to suggest ways to care for decor. As a rule, cover your decor elements with tarp or plastic to keep sand and salt off of each item, or remove them from the garden altogether, and place them in a safe, warm location for the winter. They will certainly last longer with proper care. Some decor will take more care than other decor, so at the time you purchase it, you’ll want to make sure you’re aware of how delicate each product is. Be sure it can weather at least three of the seasons out of the year, so you don’t have to take it out and put it away more than once a year. You’ll also want to be sure your decor can hold up under constant watering when you water your garden.
Caring for Plants
Properly cover plant and flower beds when the frost starts to set in. Many annual flowers were made to weather the winter, but they may need some extra packing or fencing to keep them safe throughout the winter. For many plants, you’ll also need to be aware of how they will be affected by the first frost, which typically happens at night. Be aware of when the first frost will come, and prepare accordingly. It can be much more cost-effective to properly care for annual plants in the winter, rather than purchasing new ones each year. Plants can last for many, many years with proper care and nourishment, and so can your garden decor.