We know, we know! It’s cold, wet and windy outside so not the most appealing of times to head out into the garden. However now is a great time to start a thorough spring clean for the garden. Here are eight top tips to prepare you (and your garden) for springtime.
Start to prepare your flower beds by gently forking over the soil between plants to make it lighter and mulch where you have dug over. Mulch can be done with general garden compost, although well-rotten manure or bark chippings will do the same job. And will help keep the ground moist, prevent weed growth and condition the soil.
If you are planning to lay new flower beds then now is the time to start preparing them for planting. Start off by marking the shape you want by trickling sand out of a bottle, then remove the top layer of vegetation and dig the ground over making sure you add as much organic matter as possible. Organic matter encompasses a wide variety of living or dead plant and animal material, ranging from kitchen waste and shredded leaves to well-rotted manure and compost.
As you would expect the wintery months are the perfect time to collect rainfall by installing a water butt. Not only does it help the environment but it also saves you money on your water bills too. Rainfall is known to be better for some plants such as Camellias and Rhododendrons because of the slightly alkaline nature of tap water.
Now is the time to give your lawn an early boost by feeding it with a specific ‘lawn feed’ or a combined ‘lawn feed and weed control’ to suppress the weeds too. We stock a range of Levington / Scotts lawn care products which are excellent at ensuring a greener, healthier grass.
Alternatively if you are planning on putting grass over an area of your garden, then now is the time to prepare for sowing. Simply dig it over, rake the soil until you produce a fine tilth, and then scatter the grass seeds as evenly as possible. We appreciate it rains during the winter months but make sure the patch is kept wet.
Pruning of shrubs and ornamental trees should be done before re-growth starts. If you are planning to relocate a shrub then ensure this is done while the plant is dormant. It is important to capture as much of the shrub’s root ball as possible for it to establish more quickly in its new bed. The shrub should always be planted at the same depth of soil from where it was originally taken and once re-planted should be watered thoroughly.
Setting up your own composting area can easily be done and will give you a place to put waste from your garden / greenhouse to create rich compost as the material breaks down. Good compost is created with a nice mixture (we stock to Garotta to help speed up the microbial action) and balance of vegetable peelings, grass clippings, woody pruning, paper and other materials.
There are always maintenance jobs to be done in the garden such as fences, trellis and even garden furniture. Little jobs such as re-painting or re-staining wooden structures and repairing furniture will result in you enjoying more time in the garden during the warmer days of spring and summer.
It is important to care for your garden tools so make sure you oil and sharpen them ready for spring pruning. If your trusty friends have seen much better days then we stock a great range of garden tools in our Woodgate shop.
Make sure you seek out any hibernating pests to avoid them coming back in the spring or summer.