How to prepare your garden for winter

This year’s glorious British summer has most likely encouraged you to buy more gear to enjoy in the garden. Be it an extra garden seating set for those family gatherings, an enormous pool for your kids to splash about in or a fancy new barbecue for those summer parties.  Whatever it is, you’ve most likely compiled a fair amount of summer items, in attempt to take full advantage of the hot weather this year.

Unfortunately it looks like we’ve said goodbye to those warm, sunny days for another year and your left wondering where are you going to pack and store all this stuff over winter?
Before you know it the house will become a Christmas grotto, with ever nook and cranny being used to hide Christmas presents. There won’t be any space indoors.

We have put together some tips to help you prepare putting away and storing those summer items, so that they remain in a good condition, ready for next year. Whether they are being stored in the garage, a shed or your neighbours barn.

Barbecue Storage

Leaving your barbecue unprotected outside in the cold, wet conditions, even under a plastic sheet, will cause the barbecue to rust. It will also be in risk of having mold growth and a pest infestation, as mice and rats look for shelter in the cold, contaminating your barbecue.

Store your cooking gear indoors where it’s dry and rodent-free, along with any gas bottles. This will ensure it stays in the best condition.

Don’t forget that you’ll need to clean the barbecue thoroughly before storing it away.

 

Garden Furniture Care

Too often you see sad looking garden furniture in people’s gardens, covered with fallen leaves, holding puddles in the seats. Or you notice the plastic outdoor furniture left abandoned through the winter, which by spring has turned a different colour.

No matter what material they are made from, your furniture will eventually suffer some damage, caused by the weather. So here’s how to best prepare and store your garden furniture through the winter, and save yourself having to fork out for a new set the following year.

  • Clean down each individual piece on a sunny day at the end of the season, making sure they are left dry
  • Once clean, stack up any chairs, along with folding up any fold-able/camping chairs to reduce the amount of space needed for storage
  • Remove detachable plastic table legs, if possible, and tie them together. Again this will save storage space and make the table top easier to stack away.
  • If you plan to leave any furniture outside, or if it is too heavy/large to move, then make sure that you cover each piece well with a strong plastic sheet.

Looking After Your Trampoline

A trampoline is now the easiest thing to pack up and store away. But this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t make every effort to protect it from the harsh winters. Leaving your trampoline uncovered outside will increase it’s chance of wear and tear, creating safety concerns for your children playing on it in the future. Here are a few simple ways to look after your trampoline over winter:

  • Remove any safety netting, and neatly fold away in a plastic bag.
  • Clean the trampoline mat and springs.
  • Detach the springs and remove the clean trampoline mat.
  • Store all of the above in a dry place or pack everything in a box or plastic bag, so it’s dry and ready for a storage facility.
  • If the frame is rust resistant you can leave it uncovered outside, however a rust resistant and non rust resistant frame is best kept covered with a plastic sheet.

 

Inflatable & Plastic Pools

Swimming pools come in all shapes, designs and sizes. From large inflatable pools, to a shell shaped plastic paddling pool for your children or dogs. No matter what time of the year, when pools aren’t being used, they are best kept indoors to ensure they stay in the best condition. Here are some tips to get your pool ready for the winter season:

  • Completely drain the water from the pool
  • Leave it to air-dry. If you pack the pool away before it is completely dry, you run the risk of damp and mold, not only in your pool but in the area you are storing it.
  • Thoroughly clean the pool, removing any fallen leave or insects.
  • If inflatable, fold the pool flat, ensuring this is smoothed out and has no visible creases.
  • Store away in a pests free, dry place. Covering up for extra protection.

 

Storing Away Your Bicycles

If your family loves cycling, you probably own a few bikes that you struggle to find space to store in the winter months. It is best to keep your bicycles in a dry place, preferably covered over with a sheet or stored in a bike bag. This will ensure your bike remains in tip-top condition and avoids any damage or rust.

You may be someone who’s main mode of transport to and from work is a bike, in which case it’s best to give your bike some TLC ahead of the winter months.

Here is how to winterize your bicycles:

  • Clean the bike, including the frame, saddle, pedals, handles, wheels and tyres;
  • Give special attention to the brake pads, cables etc – align the pads to avoid unnecessary wear, and clean and lubricate the chain and cables;
  • Inflate the tyres, or change the to a thicker, well thread tyre to avoid any punchers.

Garden Maintenance Equipment 

Now that you’ve taken care of your bikes and barbecue, trampoline and pools, it’s time to store away those smaller items that you need to keep safe and dry, ready for a sunny, warmer day.

  • Drain the hose well before putting it away for winter – tape up the ends of the hose to prevent little critters from getting inside.
  • Scrub down and clean your gardening tools, removing all the mud and dirt. Then store away somewhere dry and off the floor.
  • Garden power tools need to be well looked after in the winter months. Carefully clean down your lawn mower, hedge trimmers and empty any petrol sitting inside your fuel powered machinery.
  • When storing away garden tools, especially sharp ones, ensure to keep them out of harms way. Don’t just leave them on the shelf in the garage for instance, you don’t want any casualties.

 

Have any garden tips for the winter? Let us know in the comments.
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