Winter-proofing flower beds

Garden Life
Tidy paths form the backbone of the garden and clean beds provide the decoration. It is therefore advisable to tend to both of them regularly throughout the year to keep them in shape.

Removing leaves

It is important to keep paths clear of leaves, particularly in wet weather. Nasty slips and falls often occur due to leaves that have been left lying on the ground. When removing leaves, you should remember to clear your lawn too. If leaves and foliage are left on the grass for too long, the blades beneath them may die, causing unsightly yellow patches on the lawn.

Cleaning flower beds

There are two ways to deal with autumn leaves in beds: Where it is likely to be blown away, it is best to rake it up and compost it. Remove the last of the year's weeds at the same time. However if the leaves can remain in the bed, you can work them roughly into the surface. The leaves only need to be lightly covered with earth and can even show through the soil in places. In this way, it provides a nutrient-rich, loose surface for the bed.

Expert tip

Very heavy clay soils should be dug up roughly every year before winter. This allows the frost to better penetrate and break up the soil, leading to fine, crumbly garden soil over the years.