Preparing Garden Soil For Winter: Top Tips

Winter can be hard on our gardens, but it’s not all doom and gloom during this dark, cold season. While grass growth slows and plants become dormant, your soil is crying out for some well needed TLC.

In this blog post, Lawnmowers Direct explains the importance of caring for your garden’s soil during the winter months and how to maintain it properly. Read on to learn more!

Importance of soil health

While the health of your lawn, shrubs, hedges and flowers depends largely on the care and nurture you give them, the success of growth is partly determined by the soil they grow in.

Doing your best to make the soil as hospitable as possible for your plant life will give your plants the best possible chance to thrive.

Soil type

All plant life has a preferred soil type. For some, peaty soil is best, for others sandy soil. Before you plant anything in your garden, you should determine what soil type you have and try to pick plants that happily grow in that-this will make their maintenance a lot easier.

Soil PH

But it’s not just the soil type you have to worry about. There’s also the soil PH. The PH of your soil determines which nutrients are available or unavailable to the plants you grow. The wrong soil PH can lead to discolouration and variation, growth prohibition and even poisoning.

Achieving the perfect PH

Most plants thrive at a slightly acidic PH of 6.5. Depending on the type of soil you have, you may have a more acidic or more alkaline measurement.

You can measure the PH easily using a soil PH test. Once you know the current PH of your soil, you can work to treat it to get it to the scale. You can find out more about how to alter your soil PH here.

General soil care tips

Once your soil type and PH is taken care of, there’s a few other things you can do to keep overall soil health as good as can be. During the winter when activity in the garden is generally quiet is a great time to give these a go.

Turn your soil – turning your soil can help loosen, oxygenate and feed. Using a shovel or pitchfork to lift and rotate soil allows oxygen to circulate more easily and is the best way to ensure nutrients added reach deep into the ground.
Add organic compost – Organic compost is rich in nutrients that help maintain soil health. During winter when most plant life is dormant is a great time to give your soil a well deserved boost.
Ensure proper drainage – Winter is known for its wet weather. Standing water for weeks on end doesn’t do your soil any good. Installing a drainage system to ensure your soil doesn’t get waterlogged can give your soil the relief it needs.
Weeding – Weeds can overrun your garden in winter. Keeping them at bay during these months with regular weeding will ensure they don’t become deep-rooted and become a long-standing problem.

It can be easy to forget about your soil as a gardener. But proper care can really transform the way your garden performs. Follow these useful soil care tips this winter to see your garden take off this spring!

For more seasonal garden tips, take a look at the Lawnmowers Direct blog.