For most gardeners, this is a quiet time of the year, but it won’t stay that way much longer. Spring will be arriving soon, and this means that we will all soon be caught up the frenzy of preparing our gardens for the warm weather. To help everyone get a jump on their garden work, I would like to provide you with five essential tips. If you take care of these five things now, your spring will be a lot less hectic!
1) Order Bulbs & Seeds
There are a number of summer-flowering bulbs that will benefit from an early spring planting. Plan ahead and go get your Lilies, Gladiolus, and Ranunculus now. That way your garden will be ready for a colorful summer display earlier than anyone else.
2) Clear Flower Beds
If you have a warmer day, get outside and tidy up your flower beds and borders. Remove the leaves and debris from the borders, lawns, and ponds. You should also cut back the old dead growth of deciduous grasses and herbaceous perennials now. If the soil is workable then you could even dig a 5cm layer of organic matter, such as well-rotted manure, compost or recycle green waste into empty garden borders.
3) Sow Seeds That Need Longer Season
If you have not already started, you should start to sow seeds of plants that require a longer growing season. This includes Geraniums (Pelargoniums), Begonias, Antirrhinums, Peppers and Aubergines. You will want to grow these in a heated propagator (or something similar) to encourage good growth. For a more comprehensive list of seeds to sow early in the year, take a look at this page.
4) Remove Garden Pests
Taking the time to hunt down and remove hibernating pests now can save you a lot of trouble when spring and summer comes around. You should take a close look at the crowns of your perennial plants, which is where you may find slugs, snails, and aphid colonies sheltering for the winter. Also, if you have not yet cleared last year’s pots of summer bedding then do this now!
5) Clean Gardening Tools
It is incredibly important to regularly clean and sharpen your tools. Caring for your garden tools will help preserve them, and save you a lot of money over the long run. It also helps to prevent the spread of disease in the garden. Dirty secateurs may introduce bacteria and fungi to fresh pruning wounds. Sharpening your tools will help improve their effectiveness, making it much easier to work in the garden.