Preparing Your Garden for Winter

In the winter months, we can’t enjoy our gardens. But as we stare outside through the window at the amount of rain and wind we are getting, we can be glad that we put the necessary preparations in place to protect our plants, fencing, and furniture.

Ideally, all of the below should be done around November time at the latest. The change in the clocks will mean we can’t enjoy our gardens after the 9-5 job, and the frost is starting to set in too.

Below is what you should be doing to your garden before winter arrives, whether it means taking care of plants or prepping for next year.


  1. Make your garden beds

It may seem a bit odd, but now is the perfect time for anyone with clay soil to create their new garden beds. Hold fire if the ground is too hard from frost or sodden from rain, but in between the bad weather spells, use a turf cutter to get the grass up.

Using a turf cutter means you can choose the depth setting, and it is nice and compact no matter the size and layout of your garden. Making borders in clay soil now means the frost will have a chance to get down into the soil and break it up before the new year.

If you have sandy soil, wait until spring as too much air could result in moisture loss thanks to their free-flowing properties.


  1. Tidy and clean tools

Your tools may have been put away by now, but if you still have some digging and pruning to do, check them over before putting them away. Sharpen the blades, and check tools are in good condition. If not, they will need to be replaced.

  • SPEEDY TOP TIP: Sharp secateur blades will mean a quicker cut the next time you use them, which reduces the likelihood of diseases

If you’ve put the big tools (such as your lawnmower or a hedge trimmer) away into the dark depths of the shed, remember that you can hire any last-minute necessities here at Speedy. From big projects to small ones, we have it all. And everything is checked over before every new hire, which is one less job for you.


  1. Check over hinges, locks, and handles

When you’re not using your shed every day, it will be hard to spot any issues. From rust and rotted wood to loose screws, get everything remedied before you finally batten down the hatches. Think of your shed, storage boxes, garage, and greenhouse, as well as garden gates.

Not only will this prevent the issues from worsening and the weather from getting to your stored tools and plants, but it will also prevent security issues on dark nights.


  1. Plant garlic and bare-root fruit trees

As long as the ground is not waterlogged, garlic, rhubarb, and bare-root fruit trees such as berries can be planted straight into the ground. Check you aren’t due any frost as this can harden the ground.


  1. Deadhead plants

Your autumn flowering plants will be gone by now. Deadhead them, and then winter prune any summer flowering shrubs right back before the frost comes. Deciduous shrubs should be pruned once the leaves have fallen.

Get rid of diseased branches or any which haven’t bloomed or knotted for a while. Now is also a good time to move any terracotta pots into storage, covering and wrapping them with newspaper or bubble wrap for extra protection.

You also want to bring down any hanging baskets, empty them and store them for next year. The bedding plants inside will likely have died now.


  1. Feed the wildlife

Put the bird feeders outside. Remember to wash it every time it is empty; the risk of bird flu in the UK has never been higher, and dirty feeders used by various bird breeds can spread it further.

Leave fresh water out for all wildlife too, including hedgehogs and other non-fliers. Natural water sources will be freezing over in cold weather. Fallen leaves can be used as a shelter for some.


  1. Plan ahead

That’s pretty much all you can do in winter, so once it is all complete, the only thing to do is to take stock of the year just gone and think about next year.

What went wrong? What went right? What do you wish you’d have done differently? From different colour flowers in your borders to more pots or better care for your lawn, consider everything you did (and didn’t get a chance to do).

Make a list, including a timeframe for when the jobs need to be completed. For instance, if you want different flowers, it could be worth looking for seeds and spring bulbs now so you’re ready when they need sowing for spring and summer.




We have a range of gardening tips available to anyone who will be planning ahead for the year to come, from How to Rotavate Your Garden (which will come in handy if you’re making some bedding borders) to How to Mow a Lawn.

Please check out our Gardening Projects page for further inspiration.

You’ll find all the power tools and hire equipment you need right here. Start planning your next DIY project today and open a Speedy account online or instore for all your tool hire needs.


For more tips subscribe to our YouTube Channel

Find ideas on Instagram

Speedy in your pocket
Get a Speedy Account