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What to do with beds in winter

Hi, new to the forum.

I'm a new home owner and have spent the summer clearing the garden. It was a completely overgrown mess. Been slow progress but getting there.

So I've got these flower beds that were absolutely full of massive overgrown weeds that I have now reduced down to a blank canvas. Just a bed of loosened soil with compost mixed in. 

I don't think I'm going to have time to plant flowers in the beds this side of winter. I'm looking at spring next year.

What shall I do with the beds over winter? Cover them? Leave them? Obviously there was a massive amount of weeds in there so I'm assuming I'm going to get some heavy weed growth. 


  • Lou12Lou12 Posts: 1,149

    You won't get any in winter, the weeds will go mad in spring next year. I think I'd mulch after weeding in spring.

    There are some plants you can put in in winter, bareroot plant from catalogues, evergreens, shrubs. I plant throughout the year.

  • LG_LG_ gardens in SE LondonPosts: 3,071

    I'm no expert, I can only say what I did - I was in a similar position. I used the opportunity of knowing that anything that appeared would be a weed and just let stuff come up (I live in SE London so there were plenty of times over autumn and winter when it was warm enough for weed seeds to germinate and for things to continue to grow) and weeded and dug fairly regularly for several months. The ground being dug already meant it was easy to get stuff out and I feel like it gave me a head start in really tackling the perennial weeds before they had a chance to get too established - they were very visible in the bare beds. I also got to know what my main weeds looked like as seedlings / young growth, for future reference.

    If you didn't wang to do that though, you could plan where some things you would like will go next year, maybe mark the main spots, and plant lots of bulbs etc this autumn.

    Last edited: 17 August 2016 21:28:42

    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.'
    - Cicero
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 24,851

    It depends on what you are planning to grow there.   Shrubs and some early flowering perennials are best planted in autumn, as are bulbs for a spring display in which case keep it hoed and weed free for a few more weeks then start planting.  

    Daffodils can be planted form mid August as they start to root early.   September and October are good for planting alliums, hyacinths, crocuses and so on.  Tulips are best planted in November or December but all are best planted after any shrubs and perennials so you know they'll go in the gaps.


    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Ive always wanted to plant a herbaceous borde however I've read that the they really aren't worth it for relatively thin borders. My borders are only about 70cm wide so unsure if herbaceous is best way to go.

    im in the process of deciding what to plant there.

    So not really worth covering then? Just keep weeding and weeding over the next few weeks then get planting this autumn?

    Last edited: 17 August 2016 21:51:25

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 24,851

    No covers.  Let the weed seeds germinate then zap them with regular hoeing.  

    Narrow borders can look good with well chosen herbaceous perennials or shrubs and, once planted up, you can mulch with a 2 to 3 inch/5 to 8cm layer of chipped bark to help keep in moisture and prevent weeds from taking hold again.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Is mulching with chipped bark advisable when you have clay like soil (which I think I have)

  • BLTBLT Posts: 525

    I tend to think of preventing the weeds undoeing all your hard work. I  lay sheets of card boardwith a few bricks on top, great weed suppressant.

     Forest bark puts acid into the soil, which you may not want..

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