Summer is over, but that’s no reason to hide indoors. Yes, it’s colder and darker, but you can still make the most of your garden space. Here are a few ways that you can encourage yourself to go outdoors more often in the winter months.
Grow winter vegetables
Spring may be the traditional time to plant new shrubs, but many vegetables can also thrive in winter. In fact, onions, garlic and kale grow excellently during this time of the year and don’t require warm soil. Waterlogging can be a problem in winter – it could be worth planting these veggies in raised beds.
Many plants can also be sewed earlier in the year to be harvested in winter. These include leeks, sprouts and parsnips – all key ingredients to a traditional Christmas meal. It could be worth taking similar measures to prevent waterlogging.
Have a BBQ
Many winter foods such as lamb chops and bacon wrapped carrots taste great grilled on a barbecue. Using a barbecue in winter comes with challenges – especially a charcoal barbecue, which is likely to take ages to heat up. Electric barbecues are the best option for winter grilling. These are more expensive, although prices are gradually going down. You could even consider a portable electric barbecue like these ones from Idealo.
Eating outside in these colder months can be done too. If you’ve got a patio or decking area, consider getting a gazebo that will shelter from the rain. You can also invest in outdoor lighting and heating. Solar lights are a cheap option for light, whilst a chiminea is likely to be the cheapest heat source (patio heaters can be expensive to run). The barbecue itself of course is likely to provide heat too. Check that any gazebo is fire proof before putting a barbecue or chiminea underneath, and make sure there is enough ventilation that people won’t be smoked out.
Buy a hot tub
Another way of getting yourself out in the garden could be to buy a hot tub for outdoors. Even on the coldest nights, you’ll be able to relax in your garden in the warm tub. Companies such as Spa City offer a wide range of hot tubs for outdoor use. Make sure to keep the tub covered up when not in use. This is especially important in autumn and winter when there could be rain and snow and leaves to contend with.
Encourage winter wildlife
Winter is also a great time for wildlife spotting. Birds such as robins and woodcocks can be sighted in many gardens. It could be worth putting a bird feeder if you haven’t got one already. Pets At Home sell all kinds of birdfeeders for your backyard. These can be positioned on a pole or hanging from a tree. You may want to consider a squirrel baffle to stop squirrels from dining on your birdfeeders as there are many of these around this time of year (squirrels don’t hibernate, although they may hide away in very cold weather).