Now that the temperature is starting to drop, many of have retreated indoors, however this needn’t have to be the case. Here are just a few ways to make use of your garden in the winter months.
Keep caring for your lawn
Most people give up on their lawns once summer is over. This can result in them becoming unkempt and ugly. As a result, most people don’t want to spend their time in the garden over the winter because it looks a mess.
You can stop your garden growing out by keeping up with its maintenance in autumn. Keep mowing your lawn whilst the weather is still fairly warm and try keep on top of leaves and debris from plants and tree. You can follow these tips to help prepare you garden for winter. Some people prefer to mulch up leaves by mowing over them because it can help to make the soil more fertile, however if you’re still going to be using your lawn in winter you may find that this looks unsightly.
Invest in some outdoor heating
Having some outdoor heating could encourage you to still dine and socialise outdoors. Fire pits and chimineas are the most rustic ways to heat up your garden and can be great for gathering around. Another option could be to invest in electric or gas patio heaters. These don’t have to be lit and so can provide warmth faster. Patio heaters can be expensive so it’s worth shopping around to find the cheapest prices.
Protect your outdoor furniture
Certain outdoor can get ruined in the cold weather. Traditional cast iron furniture is likely to rust whilst plastic furniture can get brittle and start to break away. There are ways in which you can protect your furniture from the cold weather. When it comes to cast iron, you can prevent corrosion by applying a new coat of paint before the winter sets in. As for plastic furniture, you’re best storing this indoors when not in use. Heavy duty synthetic materials should be able to withstand the winter chill with no issues at all – consider upgrading to a more premium material to ensure that your furniture lasts.
Add exterior lighting
The evenings get darker sooner in the winter, which means having outdoor lighting is essential if you want to still be able to talk to one another. Solar lights are one of the most energy efficient ways to light up your garden – these lights come in all shapes and forms. Fairy lights can help to create a Christmassy feel and could be great for this time of year. You could also try hanging up Victorian-style lanterns for a retro feature.
Solar lights don’t tend to be too bright – if you’re looking for something more intense, you may want to consider a battery operated light or one plugged into the mains. Motion sensing floodlights will turn off automatically when no-one is outside. On top of providing great light, these motion sensing lights can offer great security, fending off burglars by making it harder for them to break in undetected.
Try growing winter vegetables
Many people think that spring is the only time to get into organic farming, but there are in fact a number of vegetables that can be grown over the winter. Spring onions and spinach can be sewn in autumn and may be ready to harvest before spring has even arrived, making them great winter vegetables for those that want quick results. For those that are a little more patient, now could be a good time to also plants onions and garlic – these vegetables can be sewn in the autumn and should be ready to harvest by summer. You can also grow broad beans and peas over the winter – by planting them now, they should be ready by spring.
Make sure to sew now before the frosts starts setting in. You may want to build a shelter over your produce to keep it warm. Alternatively, if you have a greenhouse, you could grow your plants in here to protect them from the elements.
Attract winter wildlife
Winter could be a great time for spotting local wildlife. Whilst many mammals go into hibernation over the inter, there are many birds such as robins and chaffinches that are more common sights during these months. You can lure these birds into your garden by adding some bird feeders. This could be a bird feeder on a stand or a bird feeder hanging from a tree. You usually shouldn’t have a problem with squirrels stealing this food during these months, but just to be safe you could fit a squirrel baffle to your bird feeder. Bird baths and bird tables can also help to attract these creatures.
Get into the Christmas spirit
Festive decorations don’t have to stay indoors – you could also consider ways of decorating your garden such as adding a light up reindeer or hanging wreaths from doors and fences. You can even buy outdoor baubles to hang from plants.
On top of decorating, you could host a festive winter outdoor party. Consider embracing old classics such as mulled wine and roast chestnuts. It could even be a chance to get out the barbecue in winter – it’s possible to grill chestnuts on the barbecue, as well as cooking other hearty winter classics such as leg of lamb and salmon. Here are just a few ideas of winter foods that you can cook on the barbecue.