Spring is a hectic time in the garden. As soon as it starts, an enthusiastic gardener will get caught up with sowing and growing their plants very quickly.
Winter, in contrast, is pretty quiet. However, there are lots of things you can do during the cold season to get ready for the warm weather and all the tasks that come with it.
To give you a hand getting you and your garden prepared, we’ve come up with 9 tips to help you get your garden ready for spring.
1. Buy summer-flowering bulbs and seeds
Not every gardening job is outside. When it’s chilly and you don’t want to go outside, head to your local garden centre or go online and order your bulbs and seeds. Summer-flowering bulbs that require planting in early spring include freesias, lilies and begonias.
2. Look after your gardening tools
Another job to get done in late winter or early spring is to clean and sharpen your tools. This will help to protect your plants from bacteria and fungi and improve your tool performance. Looking after your equipment may seem like a lot of effort but it’ll help your tools last longer and could save you money.
3. Clean up flower beds and borders
Have a general clean up to get your garden ready for spring. Tidy up leaves and other debris from edges, lawns and ponds and prune any dead growth. If you want to give your soil a boost, dig a 5cm layer of manure, compost or green waste into your garden borders.
4. Fix fencing and trellises
Take advantage of your free gardening schedule to fix any broken structures. You should be able to access fencing and trellises easily at this time without worrying about squashing any plants. To ensure your wooden garden structures last longer, coat them with a wood preservative.
5. Install water butts
Early spring is an excellent time to install water butts ready to catch rainfall. Using rainwater is good for the environment and is great for plants such as Rhododendrons that don’t like alkaline tap water. Be sure that any water butts you install are under a downpipe to increase the quantity of water they collect.
6. Clean your greenhouse
An additional job for late winter or early spring is cleaning your greenhouse. If you put it off until later in the year the chances are you will have several plants in there, which can make it significantly harder. Remove any debris from the shelves and disinfect them and the inside of the glass. You should also wash out any pots or trays inside and leave the whole thing open to dry. This will keep your greenhouse clean and keep pests and diseases out.
7. Get rid of garden pests
Take advantage of the lurking cold weather to hunt down garden pests. If you find them while they’re hibernating, they are a lot easier to get rid of. Take a look at the crowns of your perennial plants and see if you find any slugs or snails hiding there. If you’re cleaning out any pots, look out for any white vine weevil larvae. They usually live in compost and feed on plant roots.
8. Move deciduous shrubs
If you have to move any deciduous shrubs, now is the time to do it. Choose a still day to prevent the roots from drying out and dig widely around the plant to move as many roots as you can. When placing it a new place, plant it at the same level that it was before and water it generously.
9. Create a compost area
If you haven’t made one already, think about creating a compost area in your garden. Not only is it a useful place to put garden waste, it’ll also help you save money on plant fertiliser. You can buy a compost bin or make an area yourself, whatever you prefer. Just ensure you have a mix of grass, vegetable and wood in there. You must also turn your compost each month to keep it aerated.
So while you might think that winter is a good time to relax, there are still lots of things you can do in the build-up to spring. Hopefully, our list will help you get organised and create a beautiful garden in the months ahead.