Are you dealing with post-winter garden damage?

The cold months can be tough on your garden. Cold temperatures, ice, and harsh wind can all take their toll on plants and trees.

Unfortunately, plants and trees can get damaged, which can be difficult and expensive to repair. Sometimes it’s not just the garden that suffers from damage. The patio can get cracked pavers, staining, moss, and mould growth.

Cold temperatures and moisture can cause cracks or chips in patio pavers and can also cause staining of the pavers if water isn’t removed quickly enough. Moss and mould growth can occur in cracks and crevices of the patio at wet and cold temperatures.

Common post-winter garden problems include frost damage, wind damage, and snow damage. Frost damage can cause plants to become discoloured, suffer from leaf drops, and become brittle.

Wind damage can cause branches to become broken or torn off, while snow damage can cause branches to become weighed down and broken. Additionally, cold temperatures can cause plant roots to become damaged, leading to the plant becoming stunted or dying.

So, what is there to be done, then?

Frost damage

Frost damage is damage caused by extremely cold temperatures.

It can occur when temperatures reach a certain point and cause plants to freeze and die. Frost damage can in various ways, from direct damage to plant tissues to indirect damage caused by a freeze-thaw cycle.

In addition, it can also occur when the soil freezes, preventing water and nutrients from reaching the plant’s roots.

What kind of damage will you see?

Frost damage occurring on plants and trees is common and usually caused by pruning or fertilising performed in late summer or early fall.

These two actions can stimulate new growth, which can’t acclimate in time for cold weather. Thus, this new foliage turns into an unpleasant brown or black colour, leading to rot.

How to fix it!

Lightly affected leaves and flowers will usually drop on their own once the cold weather passes.

However, badly damaged and broken branches must be pruned to help stimulate new growth.

If the damage from the cold isn’t too severe, the branch will produce new leaves and branches when pruned.

Broken branches

Cold weather can cause brittle branches to snap due to the sudden temperature drop. This is because the water inside the branch freezes, causing it to swell and become brittle.

In addition, strong winds can cause branches to break off due to increased pressure on them. Finally, heavy snowfall can also cause branches to break, as the extra weight can cause them to snap.Pruning these damaged branches will help improve the tree’s overall health and promote new growth.

What kind of damage will you see?

Bad weather conditions during winter can often cause tree branches to break or bend, altering the plant’s outer appearance. This usually happens when a susceptible part of a tree or plant, such as a dead or dying branch, is left unattended before winter.

How to fix it!

It’s always a good idea to wait until the end of winter before you prune damaged branches.

However, there are cases when a broken branch can become a potential health hazard and must be removed during winter.

Once winter passes, prune all the broken twigs and branches back to within ΒΌ of an inch above the live bud or the branch collar of the closest live branch.

Frost heave

Frost heave, or frost heaving, is when the water in the soil freezes and expands upwards. It’s a natural phenomenon but destructive to manmade constructions and especially unpleasant for gardeners, even if your garden occupies a small space!

What kind of damage will you see?

Frost heaving occurs during soil freezing periods when small shallow-rooted plants are rooted out of the ground. This can lead to root damage as it prevents the plant from having proper contact with the soil and exposes its roots to wind desiccation.

How to fix it!

To prevent frost heave, it’s important to plant trees at the right depth. You can also insulate the tree roots by placing mulch around the tree’s base. A layer of mulch can help reduce the effects of frost heave in areas with extreme winter temperatures.

If you notice a plant being heaved out of the ground, replant it immediately. This should be particularly easy if the root system is still small, as you can push the roots effortlessly into the soft soil using your fingers.

Mouldy patio

Patios can develop mould because of various factors such as excessive moisture, poor drainage, and lack of sunlight (which we all lack during winter).

When the spores find a suitable environment with moisture and nutrients, they can begin to grow and spread. Even though mould spores prefer relative warmth, your patio won’t be saved from moss.

If the patio is located in a humid or damp area, such as a shaded or low-lying spot, it’s more prone to developing moss and mould.

A patio surrounded by trees or shrubs may also be more susceptible to mould growth due to the shade and organic matter that can accumulate on the surface.

What kind of damage will you see?

Mould growth on a patio can cause various damage, including aesthetic problems, slipperiness, health risks, damage to the patio itself, and decreased property value.

It can make a patio look dirty and unsightly and make the outdoor living space less appealing to potential buyers or renters.

Let’s add to the list dangerous, as mould and moss increase the risk of slips and falls, not to mention the weakened structure of the patio, which, if not treated, will be costlier to repair.

How to fix it!

If we’re talking about prevention, you should keep the patio clean and dry. Regularly sweeping and washing the patio can help to remove any dirt or organic matter that could provide a food source for mould.

Another preventative method is proper drainage and not letting rainwater and snow sit on it for too long. If mould is present, it can be removed using water and bleach or a commercial mould cleaner.

The best solution to clean it is to wash the patio with pressurised water. That removes all the build-up!


Dealing with winter garden problems and trying to prevent what mother nature caused is hard enough. It’s often better to hire a professional gardener to deal with winter garden damage and to clean your patio for several reasons.

Professional gardeners can provide more comprehensive services than the average homeowner, diagnose the cause of the issue, and advise on the best way to address it. They also have the knowledge and expertise to provide patio cleaning and repair services that may require more expertise than the average homeowner has.

Finally, professional gardeners can help you with pruning and fertilising your plants, making them stronger and hopefully preventing further damage caused by cold weather.