Winter is hibernation time for your garden, the harsh winter months can be unforgiving. It’s not hard to prepare your garden for spring, but it’s a good idea to know when the right time is. Between the months of October and January, it is best to leave the soil untouched to keep the cold from going deep.
It’s also very tempting to leave your garden for Spring or Summer to arrive but if you are wanting to enjoy your garden later in the year it’s important to prepare early. So, once January is over you can start your preparations and there are a few things that can and should be done. Below are a few things you can do to get your garden ‘Spring’ ready.
1. Get your shed in order. Are your tools in good condition? Sharpen blades and oil hinges. Or perhaps get rid of old rusty ones and indulge in some new ones, you won’t be sorry when you come to using your tools and they are all sharpened and well oiled, you will find the season much easier and pleasant.
2. Give your garden a ‘spring clean’, by tidying up any leaves, twigs and other debris that have made its way in, also concentrating on the flower beds and borders of your garden. To give your flower beds the best chance to flower and before you plant, you could add some compost or well-rotted manure. Make sure you get rid of those pesky weeds, burn them or put them in your brown bin. Make sure you remove them from the soil, you don’t want to leave any living weeds around, as they might come back and compete with your garden plants!
3. Pruning. Woody shrubs are good to prune back at this time of year. Prune out any dead or diseased growth to tidy and ‘cleanse’ the plant. Shrubs such as Forsythia, Syringa and Buddleia all benefit when you prune out the more mature stems to encourage new healthy growth, leaving the younger stems to flower. Plants such as Dogwood, Butterfly Bush, Wisteria, Honeysuckle and Rose would do with pruning before spring arrives. A top tip would be to sterilise your pruners before you go snip happy, this will prevent spreading plant diseases in the garden.
4. Seeds. There are seeds that require a longer time to grow. So, if you want to enjoy them in the summer you will need to sow them around the end of January or February, to give them enough time to grow by the time spring comes into full bloom. These could include Geraniums or Begonias, or peppers and aubergines.
5. Remove slugs and snails. They are your garden pests, so don’t wait for spring, you can often find them hibernating at the crown of your plants, also look for the white vine weevil larvae in your compost. Dispose of what you find and consider treating your garden.
6. You could also set up a compost area in your garden, if you have the space. You can buy a ready-made compost bin, or you could build your own using spare wood. You can then put all your organic waste. Once it has broken down, you will get a lovely rich compost your plants will thrive on. Make sure you have a good mixture of grass clippings, vegetable peelings, paper and woody pruning’s. Make sure you turn your compost with a garden fork once a month to keep it aerated.
7. Finally make sure you look around your garden and fix anything that is broken, which could include fences and gates, or sort out loose tiles on your patios. Make sure your patios and decking areas are safe and slip free. You could also wash these areas and/or use a power washer to remove dirt, moss and mildew.