Winter is usually a quiet time for the gardener, but spring will be here soon!
It’s time to resume (or start) planting, growing, and nurturing your garden as it starts to come to life. Getting your garden prepared early will help make the spring a little less hectic. Here are some quick tips to help you out:
Order summer-flowering bulbs and seeds
Summer-flowering bulbs such as Lilies and Gladiolus can be planted in early spring. If you’re adding new vegetables to your garden this spring, this is the perfect time to order your seeds and plan a layout for your garden.
Clear up flower beds and borders
Remove leaves and other debris from your flower borders, vegetable gardens, lawns, and ponds. If the soil is workable you can dig a layer of organic matter, such as compost or recycled green waste, into empty garden borders.
Sow seeds that need a longer season
In February and March you can start to sow seeds of plants which may require a longer growing season. They’ll need to be grown in a heated propagator to ensure healthy growth.
Hunt down garden pests
Getting rid of hibernating pests now can save you a lot of trouble in the spring and summer. Take a close look at the crowns of your perennial plants, and look for slugs and snails sheltering for the winter. If you haven’t cleared last year’s pots of summer bedding, do this and look for white vine weevil larvae, which live in the compost and feed on plant roots. Get rid of any you find, and be prepared to treat for vine weevils this year.
Install water butts
Install water butts in your garden to collect rainfall. This helps the environment, and the rain water is good for watering fruits and vegetables. When installing, make sure they are positioned below a downpipe to catch the most of the rainfall.
Move deciduous shrubs
If you have a badly placed deciduous shrub, now is the time to move it while it’s dormant. Dig a wide berth around the shrub, and try to take as much of the root ball as you can. This will cause faster growth in its new location. When planting shrubs in a new position, be sure to place them at the same level they were before, and remember to water them well after replanting.
Create a composting area
If you don’t already have one, then it’s time to set up a compost area in your garden. Not only will you have somewhere to put your garden waste, but your plants will reap the benefits from the rich compost created when it all breaks down. Make sure you have a good mixture of grass clippings, vegetable peelings, paper, and wood trimmings. To help the process along, be sure to turn your compost with a garden fork every month to keep it aerated.
Planning your spring garden now will help you get a head start on a bountiful garden that you can enjoy all season long.