- Putting things in order
- Pruning trees and bushes
- We drain the water
- We warm ourselves
- We remove MAFs
- Preparing the house for wintering
- Thief protection
So the warm summer is over … Have you already heard this somewhere? Of course, this is the first phrase that is remembered every autumn at the sight of the first yellow leaves and the first truly autumnal prolonged rain.
And if for the townspeople the arrival of autumn means only the need to dress warmly and hide summer clothes, then the owners of country houses and summer cottages are now entering the hottest time. And it’s not just about the last harvest of tomatoes, aromatic apples and already ripe grapes. The need to prepare a summer cottage, a plot and a garden for the cold is often a rather difficult and time-consuming task..
Of course, experienced summer residents know perfectly well how to prepare for the winter, so that the landscape design remains as attractive, and all the plants overwinter safely.
If you are still a summer resident, you are preparing for the cold for the first time, and you are only familiar with the peculiarities of certain plants by hearsay, this article will help determine the autumn work front and prepare the cottage and the plot for the cold weather according to all the rules.
In this painting by Dmitry Petukhov “Autumn Cottages”, all the beauty of withering foliage and the serenity of nature are seen just fine. But the shock work of summer residents remained behind the scenes
Putting things in order
Before you start preparing the site for winter, you need to remove all unnecessary things. And this is not only garbage – the fruits remaining on the branches or fallen, the so-called volunteers, bushes of tomatoes and peppers, which have already dropped their leaves and even dried up, become superfluous. The garden must be completely cleaned of all dried branches, leaves, and so on, and then dug up.
Yes, in the spring, before planting the plants, you will have to dig the beds again, but believe me, it is much easier than trying to fluff up the soil that has been compressed during the winter and not touched in autumn. And do not forget to scatter mineral or organic fertilizers over the already dug soil – next year you will have an excellent harvest..
If there is no vegetable garden on your site, and areas free from fruit trees are simply planted with a lawn – do not rush to rejoice – you will have to tinker with the lawn just as much.
First, it needs to be fed by choosing a fertilizer without nitrogen, which promotes grass growth. Now the growth of the lawn is useless, too tall plants can simply freeze.
Secondly, all falling leaves must be carefully removed from the lawn – they prevent oxygen from entering the soil and in the place where a heap of leaves has formed, new bald spots will appear in the spring.
Thirdly, experts advise to carry out aeration, that is, to pierce dense areas of the soil with the same noble goal – to allow the grass to breathe normally, which means to grow.
And finally, you need to treat all problem areas: pour soil into the holes, add seeds where the grass has dried up for some reason, and so on..
Yellow and red leaves on the still green lawn look, of course, very beautiful, but the lawn itself can be seriously damaged
As for dry leaves, which will abundantly lull the entire area, many experienced summer residents throw them into compost heaps. The leaves will rot and make an excellent natural fertilizer. In addition, many people prefer not to remove the leaves of the beds at all (remember – they are swept away from the lawn anyway).
The compost heap can be poured simply in the corner of the garden, an iron container, for example, an old barrel, can be adapted for a warehouse of rotting plants, a hole can be dug, or you can build such a tall and roomy box
It is believed that dry leaves become a haven for beneficial insects, earthworms, and also serve as additional protection of plants from frost. But you can leave them in the beds and under the trees only if you are confident in the perfect health of your garden. If pests were noticed on the trees in the summer, the leaves were damaged and looked, to put it mildly, “not very”, it is better to burn all the leaves – in winter they will serve as a home for a variety of pests based on an apple or plum tree in the summer. It is not worthwhile to process pest-infected leaves into compost – there is no guarantee that during rotting they will all disappear, no, and by scattering such compost over the site, you will spread the parasites all over the garden with your own hands.
It is imperative to remove the film from the greenhouse, carefully fold it in a dry place, metal structures can be left, but if you are afraid of thieves, it is better to hide it in the shed..
Of course, it is necessary to remove building materials lying in some places, dry branches and the like..
Simply put, in the fall, a real general cleaning is carried out on the site, sweeping and raking out everything that is definitely not needed in the spring..
Pruning trees and bushes
Another important task for the fall is putting trees and bushes in order. Experts advise to prune the vine right now, when the berries have already been picked and the leaves have fallen. Pruning stimulates the vine to grow and will yield a great harvest next summer.
It is at the beginning of autumn that one can and should, for the last time in this summer cottage season, “trim” hedges to give them the desired shape.
In the fall, the hedge looks no less picturesque, but it needs the last trim of this summer season.
In the fall, it is possible and necessary to remove already dried and non-fruiting branches on fruit trees. In addition, before the cold weather, it is necessary to dig up the ground around them, if the summer was dry – water well, and then pour a layer of mulch, that is, straw, peat, manure, and so on..
Experts advise to whitewash tree trunks right now, then they will be protected from the invasion of parasites in early spring, as well as from spring sunburn. Whitewashing trees in May – “before the holidays” will bring nothing but aesthetic pleasure. For whitewashing, it is better to use a regular lime mortar, which was used by our grandmothers, without any synthetic additives.
It is better to whitewash trees in autumn, so as not only to decorate, but also to protect the plants
If hares or even deer like to drop into your site, then the trunks of young trees that can be gnawed by these animals must be wrapped with plastic wrap, newspapers, spruce branches, ordinary sheets of white paper that are tied to the tree with twine. This will protect the plant not only from the invasion of hares, but also from severe frosts..
We drain the water
Before the first frost, you just need to get rid of water, which is usually stored in all kinds of containers at the summer cottage. Water must be drained from the barrels, and from the washstand suspended from a tree, and from the pool. During frosts, water, as even schoolchildren know, tends to turn into ice, which for some reason takes up more space than liquid, so that a barrel or a watering hose in which it remains can simply burst. And also winter in central Russia is a constant alternation of thaws and intensification of frosts, rains and snowfalls. So only a pool or a pond that has been properly prepared and mothballed can withstand such a climate..
That is why it is necessary to arrange a raid on the site and get rid of summer water supplies, hide the irrigation hoses in an outbuilding or garage, turn the barrels over so that they do not collect leaves and debris, and the pool will have to be additionally cleaned and prepared for winter.
All water should be drained from the pool, the walls and bottom should be brushed from everything that accumulated on them in the summer, the water filtration system should be rinsed using a preservative that prevents the appearance of algae, and then all removable equipment should be removed. Special plugs are placed on lighting fixtures and pipes, and then the pool is closed from above with a dome, which protects it from debris and snow. As such a dome can serve as a regular panel made of bubble wrap, roller shutters made of PVC profiles, special sliding tents, domes on an aluminum base, and so on..
Experts advise to drain the water completely from the mosaic pools. But in concrete or made of other materials, it is advised to leave quite a bit of water, literally on the bottom. This will help compensate for the pressure of the freezing soil. But, before pouring water again, the pool still has to be cleaned
The artificial pond in which the fish live will require no less attention. Of course, it is impossible to drain water from a reservoir where there are full of living inhabitants. But the pond needs to be cleaned of fallen leaves, and the fish need to be fed – they fatten up before the cold weather. And in winter, you will have to regularly punch holes so that the fish simply do not suffocate. If the reservoir is shallow, it can freeze completely, so in the fall you need to take care of a reliable shelter, possibly a heated foam roof. It is possible to install equipment that will aerate the water under the ice in winter, but this is also an additional cost..
We warm ourselves
Heat-loving plants require special attention in autumn. Since they may simply not survive in harsh winters, they need to be insulated by wrapping and mulching with peat. At the same time, in rose bushes and clematis, it is necessary to first cut off long shoots, which will suffer in the first place..
In order to prepare for winter, for example, large-leaved hydrangeas, you can use the so-called coniferous litter, that is, all fallen cones, needles and small branches. You need to fill in rather high mounds – up to 25 centimeters. Sawdust is also perfect for this purpose..
If the plant is too tall and cannot be pruned, it can be bent to the ground, very carefully, and then wrapped with protective material.
And there is no need to buy any special newfangled domes or bedspreads! An ordinary newspaper, rolled up in a bag and tied with twine for reliability on top, will perfectly protect the bush from frost.
Bulbous plants that do not hibernate in the soil should be dug up, folded in a box and hidden in a dry and warm enough place. In the spring you will plant them in the ground again.
Lush rose bushes are one of the main decorations of the site from spring to autumn, so they must be insulated so that they do not have to buy new plants
In addition, you need to insulate not only the plants, but also the plumbing leading to the house. If there is a tap in the yard, you need to remove it for the winter – you will not be able to draw water here in cold weather anyway. And the hatch itself, in which the pipes are located, is better to cover with something, for example, an old, unnecessary carpet..
We remove MAFs
Almost all small architectural forms (MAFs) perfectly tolerate frosts and may well spend the whole winter in their usual place. Pergola, street lights, playground, gazebo – there is no need to clean or insulate them.
But ceramic flowerpots, figurines, sculptures, garden gnomes and other medium-sized lightweight structures are best wrapped up or put away in warmth. Figures with a glazed coating can crack from frost, therefore, it is better to put them in a room for the winter, even if not heated, but protected from wind and snow..
It is these bright, decorated figures for the garden that can most of all suffer from frost, so it is better to wrap them up in film or take them to the barn for the winter
By the way, when removing sculptures and figures in a barn or garage with a secure door and lock, do not forget about garden tools. Throwing it on the street is not worth it, firstly, it will rust, and secondly, it will attract the attention of thieves.
Preparing the house for wintering
If you do not live in the country house all year round, using it only in the warm season, then the house also needs to be prepared for the cold weather. What to do first:
- if the roof is leaking, it should be urgently repaired, because the autumn rains will begin, and in the spring the snow will melt and the dacha will flood completely, you will not only have to change the leaky roof, but make major repairs;
- in the house it is worth doing wet cleaning, removing curtains and nets from the windows, washing work clothes;
- in a closet with clothes, bedspreads and bedding you need to put a moth repellent;
- it is better to hide dishes in cabinets with doors, so it will become less dusty during the winter;
- if there are some stocks of food left in the country, for example, cereals, then they need to be folded into securely closed containers, otherwise mice can reach them. Yes, and canned food is still worth putting behind the reliable cabinet doors – mice will not gnaw them (most likely), but they can bite, but how is it then? In any case, you should not take risks, even if you have placed mousetraps everywhere and spread the poison. By the way, if you don’t plan to come to the dacha all winter, how will the successfully triggered mousetraps smell in the spring, have you ever wondered? It is better to create “extremely unfavorable conditions” for the mice, that is, to deprive them of food, than to poison in anything, in fact, no guilty animals. From folk methods – spread bunches of mint, wormwood, elderberry or lemon balm around the house, rodents do not like this and will bypass the room;
- it is better to take equipment, especially expensive, to the city – from dampness in a cold house, your music center or computer may deteriorate;
- upholstered furniture should be covered with a film or cloth, so it will be kept from dust;
- all the vents and windows must be securely closed, and if the double-glazed windows are not installed, then they must be insulated for winter, putty the cracks or glue with paper;
- all locks and door hinges must be lubricated with oil, and those locks that remain on the street should be covered with lids specially cut from plastic bottles. You don’t want everything in the house to creak and not open in the spring? Then you need to prepare in the fall.
Leaving the cottage for the long winter months is a real stress for both the owners and the house, so you should thoroughly prepare it for the cold weather and the absence of tenants
This part of the article does not apply to the happy inhabitants of elite cottage settlements, where the house, left by the owners for the winter, is still not left unattended – there is 24-hour security, checkpoint, and so on..
And if a gardening partnership can only pay for the watchman grandfather, who is good if he walks down the street once a day where your house stands?
In order to deprive thieves of illusions about the accessibility of your home, it is worth installing reliable grilles, blinds, a fence and a gate that can be locked with a key..
And hide all more or less valuable things in a specially equipped cache, in the underground or in a double box on the mezzanine.
It is better not to use radical remedies – bear traps, current through barbed wire or arsenic in cognac, since then you will have to answer for the thief in court, and your conscience will torment.
Some dacha owners decide to try their hand at the epistolary genre and leave notes with the following content: “There are no equipment and products, come in the summer”, “We are at a neighbor’s, will be back soon” or the classic “In the courtyard of an evil bull terrier.” Such notes do not always help, it is better to buy a frightening alarm that imitates a human voice or a dog barking.
The safest thing to do is to simply insure the dacha, or you can unite with your neighbors and take turns to go in winter to check how your favorite house is doing there..
Well, the management of the garden partnership must also monitor the safety of the dachas, enclose the territory with a fence, for example, and put up a reliable gate, the key to which will only be with the members.
Many summer residents prefer to protect their home with such metal, completely reliable shutters.
Yes, in the fall there is plenty of work at the dacha and at the house plot of the country cottage. But after all, during the long winter you will have time to miss green plants, soft, fertile soil, and even a shovel and a rake. So it is better not to be lazy and how to prepare your site and house for the cold weather – have you really worked in vain the whole summer and do not want to return here in spring?