We are indeed starting to say goodbye to summer. To be fair, after its poor performance I am more than happy to help it on its way out. I think it needs to take a long hard look at its 2012 season and ask itself ‘did I really give the great British people a summer they could be happy with?’
Whilst we wait with bated breath for the cooler months to arrive, there are some simple things you can be doing to get your home and garden winter-ready.
In The Garden
Keep your lawn trimmed and clean. Some people might suggest to let your grass grow long as we move into the cooler months but it’s not necessary. You can continue to cut as normal.
- Do a thorough weeding of flower beds
- Clean up foliage from perennial plants
- Water any lawn and flower beds until the ground gets cold
- Plant spring-flowering bulbs
- Rake up leaves each week
- Shred any leaves and save to use for mulch on your flower beds
Clean Your Gutters
This is a task best done by two people. You’ll want one person up a ladder tackling the debris whilst the other person steadies the ladder and helps scoop and pile the debris.
Grab a gardening spade or if you want you can cut an old milk jug to make a scoop. Use a tarp (or if you’ve not got one a bin liner will suffice) to put on the ground below to chuck any debris onto. The muck and gunk that you retrieve from the gutters can be saved and used as compost. Start in the corner and work away from the drain spout scooping as much of the debris as possible Once you’ve removed all the gunk you can hose the gutters out to make sure water is moving freely. If you’re a happy owner of a pressure washer and extension hose this will be the perfect opportunity to blast the last bit of dirt etc from the gutter.
Winterise Your Pressure Washer
If you do own a pressure washer you’ll want to winterise it ahead of the colder months to protect the internal components of the machine. It’s important to make sure there’s no water left in the machine that could potentially freeze and damage the components. Here’s how to drain the water from your pressure washer:
- Attach a garden hose to the pressure washer and turn on the water. Put the intake tube- this is the tube you would normally put in the cleaning solution- into a bucket of clean water.
- Turn machine on and spray for 1 to 2 minutes to rinse out any residue. Turn machine and water off.
- Disconnect any hoses from the machine and elevate to drain any remaining liquid from them. If possible lock the trigger hose in on position to help drain fully.
- Coil hoses and hang up.
(Note: it is also important to bleed your pressure washer any time you’ve not used it for a period of time or you plan to not use it for a period of time. You can do this very simply as Mat shows us below)