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How to Deal with Winter Damage in your Garden

If you’ve been looking out of the window at your garden and wondering how you’ll bring it back to life after the harsh winter months, don’t worry. As landscape gardening experts, we have years of experience in bringing gardens back to life once spring is on the horizon. Here is our advice for dealing with winter garden damage.

What does winter garden damage look like?

Winter garden damage can often present itself as leaves and early buds looking slightly burnt or blackened. Similarly, you might see leaf drop from trees and shrubs, broken branches or fallen twigs.

The worst of the winter damage can often be seen when plants think that spring has sprung, start to come into bud, and then more bad weather hits.

How to encourage re-growth?

Sometimes the best thing we can do for our garden is to wait and see. Some winter damaged shrubs and plants will grow back by themselves. However, we can encourage growth by clearing any weeds away from the roots so they don’t have to compete with for nutrition.

It is good practice to add a layer of mulch around your shrubs, or a few inches of good quality compost around the roots at this time of year to promote growth and keep the roots warm.

Should I prune my shrubs?

Although it can be tempting to prune any winter damaged stems, this can actually cause further damage. You may shock the plant, which will make the damage worse.

Instead, wait and see if the plant drops the damaged branches naturally, and wait to prune until the optimum pruning time for the particular plant. If you’re not sure of the best time to prune then consult a local gardener.

Should I remove broken branches from trees?

Just as with shrubs, it’s sometimes best to leave broken branches as you may hinder the plant’s productivity. This is the general rule unless the broken branch or limb is causing a health and safety hazard, in which case the branch should be removed rather than risk safety. Always consult a professional for this service rather than attempting it yourself, as you could cause further damage to the tree, as well as potentially injuring yourself.

How can I prevent winter damage?

It’s hard to prevent winter damage completely, as nature is a law unto itself. However, we always advise that any vulnerable plants that are in containers can be moved and overwintered in a greenhouse, garage or other sheltered spot in your garden. Placing plants up against an outside wall where there is a radiator on the other side can often help. 

Similarly, it’s wise to resist over-fertilise plants just before the autumn and winter weather hits, as you may spur the plant into over-productivity, which can then cause the early buds and winter damage when the cold weather hits.

If you’re unsure how to care for your garden over the winter months, the best thing you can do for your garden is to get the advice of experts in landscape gardening. Search for ‘landscape gardening near me’ and work closely with your gardener to ensure that you protect as many of your precious plant as possible over the winter months.

If your garden is looking a little damaged after the winter, get in touch with D&G Garden World. As experts in landscape gardening services, we are happy to bring gardens across Essex, including gardens in Upminster, Brentwood and Hornchurch, back to life this year.