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Winter house and garden tips for Australians

When winter comes around it's tough to muster any type of excitement for any outdoor activity. Let alone feel the need to crawl around in the garden. Understandably, when you live in the northernhemisphere that encounters a frosty and icy winter, gardening isn't feasible. However, should you reside in the southern hemisphere where winters are not as severe, you have little explanation. Countries like Australia still have some temperate days where the sun comes out and a little gardening or outdoor chores can be taken care of. Not saying it isn't cold, but it certainly doesn't mean you gamble with getting frostbite as you're taking care of your garden and outdoor maintenance.

If you are someone that suffers from the winter blues, studies have recently demonstrated that getting outdoors helps to relieve some of the symptoms. Gardening is a great winter outdoor activity, because you can manage to find some shelter during a downpour or warm up while you go about finishing all the needed tasks. Also, the garden is not the only component that needs taking care of during winter. Winter takes its toll on your home and fittings also.

Here are a few tips on how you can look after your garden and home during winter.

⦁ Prune, snip and preen

Winter in Australia includes wind, make sure you properly prune any tree branches that may fall into your premises or on your fencing or home. All shrubs and trees that grow near power lines could prove a security hazard and cause blackouts. Make sure all branches and leaves are kept clear of any infrastructure.

Please do not tackle any branches which are already incontact with any power lines. This is extremely dangerous. Please contact your regional council for assistance in removing those branches safely.

Pruning should ideally be done before winter but during winter you can constantly be sure any trees or branches aren't causing any safety hazards. Also, all shrubs and leafy plants will need constant cutting and maintenance during winter to make sure that they are ready for the spring bloom.

⦁ Clear the garden area of potential hazards

Always make certain that your yards and garden area are clear of any furniture or materials that could be hazardous during storms. Tie down any garden furniture and any loose objects that could be dismissed during during a storm. Also, during winter ensure you rake up any twigs, stick, and bark.

⦁ Secure roofs and repair tiles

Before and during winter, make sure you don't have any loose or damaged roof tiles. Trying to fix leaks in the winter is a hassle nobody wants. After storms, check your roof to be certain no roof tiles are missing or damaged. Also, check and maintain your flashings. Get rid of any rust or blockages. Be sure to watch out for any damages in the skylights, fasteners, flashings,and seams.

It is also important to ensure that no moisture can seep through any mortar or brick of the house. Regularly check this before and during winter, and make any necessary repairs.

⦁ Prepare the soil

Just because it's winter, doesn't mean nothing grows or gets ready to grow. This is a good time to dig the space for a new vegetable patch or to get an existing patch ready for planting. Make sure the floor is weed free and well hoed to aerate it.

Winter is also a wonderful time to plant winter vegetables like English spinach, snow peas, and squash.

⦁ Don't forget the pool

The winter season isn't type to swimming pools. It is very important to maintain and 'winter-ize' your swimming pool. Invest in a durable pool cover so that you can stop algae build-up and the collection of garden debris in the pool water. The constant maintenance of the mechanics is also important, as an instance, ensure that the pool pump is in good working order. Additionally, give it a good clean and vacuum before you cover it up for winter.

⦁ Ban the winter blues with more colour

If you, like many other people, feel that winter fills you with melancholy and despair, you can banish the winter blues by potting some colorful blooms around you. Some potted plants flourish in winter and give off the most amazing blooms. Filling a place in the backyard with some colour will bring cheer to some winter grump.

⦁ Bring the heating bill

Insulating your house will drastically reduce the heating bill in winter. It is reported that insulation cuts your energy usage by 30 percent. Placing insulation in the ceiling will stop the heat from escaping. The same with insulating wall cavities and outside walls. This should be done before tips winter, but could also be done during winter months. You can find an expert to help with this, as it can sometimes prove a tiny hard task. Ensure that you insulate all regions where air can escape such as windows and doors.

We can all agree that there's very little about winter that conjures up happy or even merry images. However, winter is a great time to get to the tiny garden and home chores the summer sun does not allow. You can start before winter, do some prep. The groundwork will take the work out of the tasks and make it fun. It can become a job that each and every member of the family can get involved in and enjoy. Besides, what better way than getting the kids away from the TV and have them spend some time outdoors?

Originally published
8.2.18 09:10


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