Your Garden and Spring Planting
Late winter is the best time to start planting again. It is common practice amongst gardeners to start preparing for the planting season. During this period, gardens are weeded and cleaned for the coming spring season. As a garden owner, you don’t want to be caught unprepared. So, here are some useful tips you can apply to prepare for the new gardening year as the spring draws near.
If you have a Greenhouse- Clean it out
There’s no better time to give your greenhouse a suitable bath to get it ready for spring’s cuttings and seedlings. Use disinfectants or detergent to wash your greenhouse and remove moss, algae, and grime in general. This will let more light get in the growing months and at the same time, get rid of potential camps for diseases and pests. Also, make sure to clean the inside of the glass to prevent overwintering diseases and pests from surviving.
If there’s plant debris on the ground and benches, sweep them out and use a hot solution of garden disinfectant to wash it. Wash seed trays and pots too to protect your young plants from diseases like damping off. Also, ensure proper ventilation to see that your greenhouse dries appropriately over the next few days. After that, inspect your greenhouse for damages and fix what’s broken.
Order Spring and Summer-Flowering Bulbs and Seeds
Get those summer-flowering bulbs and seeds already. A wet and windy winter’s day is the perfect time for this. You can order flowers like gladioli, lilies, and ranunculi for planting in early spring. Ordering these plants before time is perfect because it will be costlier during the planting season and more scarce.
Move Deciduous Shrubs
Deciduous shrubs will still be dormant in winter, so it’s the perfect time to move them. This task is ideal for a still day, so the wind doesn’t dry out the roots.
Dig a circular trench around the shrub to let it have a wide berth. Take as much of the root ball as you can to enable it re-establish itself in the new location as fast as possible. In the new position, place your shrub at the same level it previously was in the soil. Ensure that you water the shrub well afterward.
Find and get rid of Garden Pests
Get to finding and getting rid of hibernating pests already. This will help save you a lot of stress when the spring and summer come. Look closely at the crowns of your perennial plants for any snails, slugs, and colonies of aphids taking shelter from the winter. This will make it a better environment for bees in the garden.
Clear your pots of summer bedding from last year if you didn’t already do so now. Check for white-vine-weevil larvae, which generally live in the compost and feed on plant roots. Destroy any ones you find. Also, get ready to treat for vine weevils this year. You should consider using chemical drenches or parasitic nematodes.
Tidy up Flower Beds and Borders
Do a full tidy up, taking out leaves and other debris from borders and flower beds. Cutting back the dead growth of herbaceous perennials and deciduous grasses isn’t a bad idea. But you can leave those till the early spring if you like wildlife.
Clear the beds and borders back to just soil. Put the dead organic matter you’ve cleared out into your bin or compost pile, so it breaks down. Take out any weeds you see and burn them. Or you can put them in your brown bin but don’t compost them; otherwise, the seeds will germinate and give you troubles in the future.
If you have workable soil, dig a 5cm layer of organic matter like compost, recycled green waste, or well-rotted manure into empty garden borders.
Install Water Storage and Start Collecting Rainwater
This is a perfect way to get the most out of seasonal rainfall. Fix a water storage device in your garden to receive all that rainwater. This is very important for environmentally conscious gardening. Typically, water companies have to resort to streams and groundwater reserves due to very high demands during hotter months. This is a costly option that is also harmful to the environment.
Besides, rainfall is the best source of water for plants. It is particularly suitable for Ericaceous plants like rhododendrons, Camellias, and blueberries because most of the time, tap water is slightly alkaline.
Position your water butt underneath a pipe facing down from your home or shed. If your drainpipe is closed, you should get a diverter kit to transfer some of the rainwater.
Clean and Sharpen Gardening Tools
Clean and sharpen your tools during the winter in preparation for summer. Taking good care of your gardening tools will help to ensure that they last long, and you don’t have to spend money getting replacements too soon. Besides, it will help to prevent the spread of diseases as dirty tools are well known to enable this.
Wash your tools with hot water, detergent, and scouring powder to keep them thoroughly sparkling. Also, sharpen the tools to help them perform better. These make your devices easier to work with as they achieve neater pruning cuts.
It is also essential that you take the time to clean and even oil your hand tools like hoes, spades, rakes, and trowels as the spring draws closer.
Maintain Fences, Gates, and Trellis
Something else to pay sufficient attention to your trellis’ and gates. Winter is just the time to tie all the loose ends. Check gates, fence panels and trellis for signs of decay or damage from the weather. Fix all the broken structures you find right away so you can have time to spend in your garden when the spring comes.
Also, make sure to use a power washer to clean gates and fence panels to remove moss, dirt, and mildew. Using a stiff brush will help you get rid of stubborn grime. Finally, allow the wood to dry and then apply two coats of wood preservative, paint or stain on a dry day.