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Whilst November is a fantastic time to start composting or start rainwater harvesting, the colder months do bring a little extra maintenance to ensure the longevity of all gardening products.

Luckily, essential winter garden maintenance is extremely straight forward, particularly for water butts like Harcostar or our slimline water butt designs, so you’ll easily get your garden prepared for any freezing temperatures in no time. 


Preparing your garden

As the seasons change, it’s important to start thinking ahead. 

Ask yourself…

What will I need in six months’ time? 

How can I protect my attempts at rainwater harvesting and get my Harcostar ready for winter? 

Questions like these will help to stimulate a checklist for what your garden might need, and it will help you formulate a Black Friday shopping list for any items you might need.


Clean up

Cleaning up your garden could be as simple as picking up debris from the floor and turning it into nutrient-rich compost for your plants to enjoy or cleaning paving stones so they’re bright and fresh.

Clean out unused plant pots and store them in an obvious area for spring and then get ahead of the spring season and plant flowers like tulips and daffodils that can withstand the cold and bloom in March.


Cut Down

Whilst the leaves are absent from the branches, you will clearly be able to see the length of your tree and predict where branches may grow into unwanted areas of the garden.

Food and shelter for birds and small animals can be hard to come by in the winter months, so you can always opt to create a bird feeder or a hedgehog house from leftover branches and seeds to recycle your wastage and feed your residents at the same time. 

If that’s too much to remember, don’t worry, we’ve written all the facts down in one printable checklist…



Water butts in Winter

Rainwater harvesting is a great way to save the planet and cut costs on your water bill, but don’t overlook their maintenance in the lead-up to winter. 

All water butts need to be emptied to prevent any splits. Slimline water butts and Harcostar rain savers are especially easy to empty due to their lightweight design.  

The process of emptying your water butt can vary between designs, but they should all follow this simple formula.


  1. Open any taps or attachment that filter water out of your water butt
  2. Drain your water butt until it is mostly empty and remove from your pipes
  3. Lift upside down and let any excess water drain out (if possible)
  4. Put your water butt back in place with the connection to the downpipe closed and the taps still open


This is also the perfect time to give your water butt a deep clean. The quick process removes any bacteria and will keep your water butt odour free. For more information on how to complete a deep clean, visit our blog post: ‘Gardening Basics: Keeping your Water Butt Clean and Odour Free’.


Large or Heavy Water Butts

To prepare large-scale water tanks or column water butts, additional precaution should be taken when emptying the rain savers to avoid damage to yourself or pipes.


Purchasing a water butt in November will remove any of this maintenance as all products come ready-to-use and can be connected when the weather is appropriate. 


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