As you can expect, winter is usually a quiet time in the garden. But in saying that it is never long before spring arrives on our doorstep. It is at this time that you need to be investing time in your garden to have it ready for the lead in to the summer period. This may include seed-sowing, growing, and also importantly nurturing your garden to ensure it comes to life! The earlier you get your garden in order the easier your spring time will be!
1. Order summer-flowering bulbs and seeds
This task is ideal for a miserable day when you want to stay indoors! Summer-flowering bulbs such as lillies, gladiolus and ranunculus may be sown in early spring.
2. Clear up flower beds and borders
This is the time of year for a general garden clean up. This involves removing leaves and other debris from your flower borders, lawns and ponds. As well as cutting back old dead growth, is the soil is workable you can dig a 5cm layer of organic matter such as well-rotted manure, compost or recycled green waste into empty garden borders.
3. Clean your greenhouse
A good idea is to clean your greenhouse before spring arrives! Before you know it, your greenhouse will be home to trays of seedlings and cuttings. Having a clean greenhouse to start makes this process a whole lot easier! Also, ensure you clean and disinfect the inside of the glass too. This is because there may be overwintering pests and also disease which can survive in the smallest nooks and crannies. To finish, ventilate your greenhouse well over the next couple of days so it dries thoroughly.
4. Sow seeds that need a longer season
A good time of the year to sow seeds which require a longer growing season is in January and February. This may include geraniums, begonias, antirrhinums. They will require a heated propagator to grow.
5. Hunt down those garden pests
Time spent now tracking down and eliminating hibernating pests can save a lot of trouble come spring and summer. If you still haven’t cleared last year’s pots of summer bedding then do this now and be on the look-out for the white vine weevil larvae, which live in the compost and feed on plant roots. Destroy any you find.
6. Install water butts
A great idea and also environmentally friendly (which we at Apco Garden Design strive for), the installation of water butts in your garden will help collect seasonal rainfall. Not only does this help the environment but rain water is good for watering certain ericaceous plants. When installing a water butt make sure it’s positioned below a downpipe to make the most of the rainfall.
7. Move deciduous shrubs
If you identify a deciduous shrub that is badly placed now is the time to move it. As it is still dormant, now is the time where moving it will have the least impact on it. Start by picking a still day to prevent the roots drying out. Using a wide radius around the shrub when digging it up, try to take as much of the root ball as possible. This will mean the quickest establishment in its new location. When planting shrubs in their new position remember to water them in well afterwards.
8. Fix fences, gates and trellis
9. Clean gardening tools
A great idea for Spring is to give your tools a clean and a sharpen! Caring for your tools not only helps preserve them, it saves you money in the long run. Sharpening your tools will also improve their performance; they’ll be easier to work with and will give cleaner pruning cuts.
10. Create a composting area
One suggestion we highly recommend you undertaking if you haven’t already is to set up a compost area in your garden. This could be a shop bought compost bin or one that you build yourself using spare bits of wood. Not only will you have somewhere to put your garden waste but your plants will benefit from the rich compost created when it all breaks down! Make sure you have a good mixture of grass clippings, vegetable peelings, paper and woody prunings. To help the process along you’ll need to turn your compost with a garden fork each month to keep it aerated.
Contact Colm today at 01-6263496 to book in an on-site appointment with a free quotation.
We are here to help!