Top Tips for a Winter Garden Clearance

13th November 2023

By Graham Matthews

Longer nights, shorter days, and lower temperatures across autumn and winter significantly affect the conditions and health of gardens across the UK. Getting them in good shape for the colder months is important for domestic gardens, public parks, and commercial green spaces. A garden clearance before Christmas is essential.

Winter is a challenging time for any keen gardener with less sun, more rain, and Jack Frost creeping about. Put in the work now though and you’ll protect your outdoor space so it’s in great condition when spring arrives. That’s why we’ve pulled together some advice for your winter garden clearance.

At Divert we can remove garden waste from your home or business in the UK at any time of year. Find a fast solution to get rid of a few or many bags of rubbish from your garden with our garden clearance services. Keep reading for effective tips to clear your garden for winter.

snow on leaves of holly bush.

Leave no leaves behind

Dead leaves lying on your lawn aren’t going to do your grass any good over winter, so it’s important you rake them off. You can add them to a compost pile or your garden waste bin. Alternatively, use these dead leaves to create leaf mould, which you can recycle back in your garden.

Use an empty bin or find a sheltered spot and create an enclosed container. Add the leaves and a bit of water then leave until they’ve formed a crumbly texture. Shredding the leaves and using ones from oak, beech, and alder trees should speed up the process. Spread the leaf mould on your soil to add structure and organic matter.

Cut back shrubs and trees

Trimming hedges, shrubs, and trees is much harder when frozen. The best time to cut them back is after all the leaves have fallen off but before temperatures drop below zero. Cutting back branches once winter has arrived leaves plants, trees, and hedges more exposed to the cold and increases the risk of them suffering and even dying.

Clear out your compost

Warmer weather helps organic material in your compost bin break down quicker. Over winter any food and garden waste on your compost heap will still decompose but at a slower rate. Therefore, using as much compost as possible and clearing out to start afresh is ideal before winter fully arrives.

The autumn clear-up also produces plenty of compostable material that needs somewhere to go. Spreading as much of the current compost crop as possible around your garden makes space for this. Turn the existing compost with a fork if it’s not quite ready to try and quicken the process.

Don’t worry if there’s not enough room in your compost bin for all the fresh garden waste harvested in your pre-winter clearance. You can always create a fresh pile next to it or in a different spot – just don’t mix the two, as it could slow down the first pile’s progress. Alternatively, arrange garden waste collection so it’s sent to a large-scale composting site.

fruit and veg peelings on top of compost pile.

Mulch your garden

Mulching is simply the process of adding organic materials (usually manure, compost, or bark/wood chippings) to your garden. It’s an eco-friendly way to naturally recycle such materials and protect your garden through the colder months. If you’ve got a compost heap or wood that can be shredded then it’s also a cheap option.

Evenly spread your chosen mulch over your garden beds to protect the soil and plants below. A thick layer of organic material should stop plants from freezing and reduce soil erosion from extra rainfall. This also suppresses weeds and creates a tidy appearance for your garden to make it low maintenance over winter.

Discover more advice to get rid of green waste in our garden waste guide

Plant new trees and bushes

Before the soil freezes is a good time to plant bare-root trees and bushes. This could be anything from a fresh rose bush to geraniums or a beech tree. Planting them now provides plenty of time for them to bed in and any summer plants to bloom on time.

The same is true for planting bulbs. It’s the ideal time to plant popular spring flowers such as tulips, daffodils, pansies, bluebells, and snowdrops before the soil freezes. Evergreens are also a good option to bring a splash of colour to your garden for the coming drab, dull, and dark days.

Protect or put away garden furniture

It’s not just the plants in your garden that need protecting over winter. The cold and damp weather affects everything in your outdoor space. So, if you’ve only got a patio or paved-over backyard, you still need to take a few steps to ensure everything survives the coming cold months.

Move any garden furniture into a shed, garage, basement, or indoors if you’ve got the storage space. You’re unlikely to need them until the temperatures reach double figures again, probably in April at the earliest. If you must leave them outside cover up any furniture with waterproof sheets and secure them.

Rain and snow can cause dampness and encourage mould that affects any wooden garden furniture and any cushions or padding. It will also potentially rust any metal garden furniture, while strong winds might blow items over (or even away) and damage them. Protecting your garden furniture ensures you can use them again next summer.

garden furniture covered in snow.

Empty your shed

Now is the prime time to clear out your garden shed. Make room to store garden furniture and barbecues while getting rid of stuff you’ve accumulated over a busy summer of gardening. Chuck out any broken tools and plant pots or donate any items you don’t use to a local charity shop.

Cleaning your tools before putting them away for winter is best around now too. A good wash and dry of any spades, forks, and trowels ensures they’re ready to use in spring and avoids mould building up. Tidying your shed also makes it easier to find everything you need when cutting the lawn for the first time in the new year.

Book garden waste collection

A big garden clearance before winter creates plenty of green waste. Even if you’ve got a compost bin the mountains of dead leaves, branches, and trimmings can be too much for it. Plus, most council garden waste collections stop over winter. Booking garden waste collection with Divert is the perfect solution.

Whatever type and amount of garden waste you need to get rid of we can remove it at a convenient time. Our licensed waste carriers will come to your home or business and load your green waste into one of our purple vans. All garden waste is diverted away from landfill and often taken to a large composting site nearby.

We can collect garden waste from households and businesses across Yorkshire. This includes garden clearance services in:

Get a free quote for garden waste collection today or speak to one of our friendly team for a fast solution to your questions – call 0333 444 0118 or contact us online.

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