There are just 3 days left before Spring is officially here, and soon enough you will be seed-sowing, growing, and watching your garden come to life! To make things a little less hectic we have compiled a list of preparations to get you started…
1.Clear up flower beds and gardens.
There are bound to be a few dead plants, leaves and other debris in your garden left over from winter so have a general tidy up paying particular attention to flower borders, lawns and ponds. If the soil is workable then you can mix in a layer of organic matter such as well-rotted manure, recycled green waste and compost into empty borders.
2. Clean your greenhouse.
This time of year your greenhouse may be very, well, Green! You can clean the glass using a solution of hot water and garden disinfectant such as Jeyes Fluid to get rid of any pests and disease which may have survived in the nooks and crannies. Sweep out any plant debris on the floor and disinfect the floor and benches, and also be sure to wash pots and seed trays to help prevent diseases such as ‘damping off’ infecting any young plants. Ventilate your greenhouse well for a few days so that it dries thoroughly.
3. Order bulbs and seeds.
We are bound to have the odd wet and windy day so when you are at a loss of what to do in the garden, put in an order of Summer-flowering bulbs such as Lilies, Gladiolus and Ranunculus. They can be planted in early spring for a colourful Summer display!
4. Hunt down garden pests!
Pests may still be hibernating whilst the weather is cool and removing them now can save a lot of trouble once Spring is in full swing. Have a look around the crowns of your plants as there may be slugs, snails and aphids sheltering from the weather. If you haven’t cleared your pots from last year there could also be vine weevil larvae present which thrive on compost and plant roots, so it is important to destroy any you find.
Our friends at Speedy Pest Control have a great article on keeping pests out of the garden – You can read more HERE.
5. Invest in a water butt.
Not only do water butts help the environment but the rain water is also better for your plants than tap water, which is usually slightly alkaline. Positioning a water butt below a downpipe will make the most of our seasonal rainfall – and let’s be honest we have a lot of that here in the UK!
6. Fix fences, gates and trellis.
Although it is still relatively cold outside, this is the ideal time of year to get these niggly little jobs out of the way! Broken structures or tools are best fixed now so that you can spend most of your time in the garden once Spring and Summer arrive. During dry periods treat yourself to some wooden garden structures such as archways for climbing plants like Clematis, and treat them with a wood preserve to keep them looking tip top.
7. Clean gardening tools.
Caring for your garden tools not only preserves them but it also saves you money in the long run and helps prevent the spread of disease. Give your tools a good clean and sharpen to improve their performance and they’ll be easier to work with and give you cleaner pruning cuts.
8. Create a composting area.
A compost bin is a key feature in the garden, and will provide somewhere to put your garden waste as well as grass clippings, vegetable peelings, paper and woody pruning’s. It is important to turn it once a month with a garden fork to keep it aerated, and then your plants will benefit from the rich compost that is created when it all breaks down.
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