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Whilst it’s difficult to accept that summer is drawing to a close, there are a ton of things to be getting on with before the bad weather and dark nights set in. Whether you’re squeezing out the last few drops of sun by enjoying your garden or battening down the hatches for the colder seasons, it’s undeniable that your garden & your lawn furniture need a little TLC to be prepared for winter.
Here are a few tips to help you get started…
The best way to avoid having to put constant work into caring for your furniture is to ensure you’ve invested in hardy, good quality outdoor furniture that can stand the test of time and weather the elements. Luxury rattan furniture will be long-lasting and look great in your garden year after year. Even constant love and care won’t help cheap or bad quality furniture. If your garden furniture is a bit beyond saving, make sure you’re buying pieces for next summer that will see you through every summer after that too.
Most great quality furniture will come with good, strong garden furniture covers made to withstand the weather, but if your furniture didn’t then it’s definitely worth investing in some before the winter starts. If you can’t find something made for your specific pieces, you can either improvise with something similar or make your own with some strong tarp or vinyl.
Items like cushions and parasols should be thoroughly cleaned and stored inside to avoid mould and damp. If it’s longevity you’re after, bring these in when the seasons start to turn and only put them out with you when you’re using them. This will ensure they’re still perfect for the next summer, and the next.
Blow off the cobwebs
Cleaning off the summer dirt before winter is really important to helping your furniture live its best life. Whether you’re putting the furniture into storage or just covering it, one of the worst things you can do for the wood or metal is put it away dirty or wet.
Clean the furniture with a non-abrasive cloth and warm or mildly soapy water for a gentle clean or a soft-bristled brush and a diluted bleach solution to get off mould or tougher stains. Follow the instructions in the manual or have a google if you’re unsure about how to treat the material, but for the most part soap and water will do just fine.
Get all oiled up
It’s pointless to care for your furniture in any other way if you’re not treating the wood or metal the way it needs.
To restore dry, cracked, or split rattan, apply boiled linseed oil with a brush. When the furniture won’t absorb any more oil, wipe it clean with a soft cloth. Allow it to dry or harden before using the rattan again.
If your furniture is metal, check regularly for signs of rust, and scrub off gently with a wire brush when it appears. You can treat your metal furniture with car wax to ensure the water continues to run right off instead of gathering.
If you’ve spent money on stylish or eye-catching planters, it’s worth doing your best to make sure they look great all year round. Bring in any plants that won’t do well in the cold and rain and pot more hardy stuff out there, like Heather, Winter Jasmine, Snowdrops or Witch Hazel.
If you’re a bit more ambitious with your plants, trees like Winter-Flowering Cherry or shrubs like Japanese Quince and Dogwood are a great way to brighten up your garden all year round and distract from all your covered up furniture!
If you’ve got a greenhouse, it’s definitely worth insulating it with bubble wrap or polystyrene on the inside to protect the glass, even if you’re not growing anything in there.
Winter is coming
Get your garden furniture winter-proofed as soon as possible so you can enjoy your autumn and winter evenings curled up inside with your family. It’s not such a big job really – unless you’re lucky enough to have a huge garden, in which case you better start soon!
Take these tips and run with them, but remember that it’s important to care for your furniture year round, which can help getting ready for winter take way less time.