It certainly doesn’t seem like it just yet, but winter is going to be over at some point and spring will be upon us. There are plenty of things to be done to prepare for spring and your garden will be all the better for it.
First thing to mention is when it comes to the lawn, it’s important to try and stay off when it’s frosty or snowy as it can actually cause damage. Some lawn treatment closer to spring can set it off on the right path. Likewise, treading on soil when its wet can also cause issues later in the year. These are small things and can’t always be avoided, but it’s best to take care. That being said, if the weather allows and the lawns dry out on the surface we can think about giving the lawns the first high cut of the season to help keep them at their best.
Plants that have been left for Winter such as ornamental grass and some herbaceous perennials can be cut now down to the base to allow for the new shoots that will emerge as we can look forward to some milder weather. Wisteria should be cut back now to reduce side shoots to 2 to 3 buds. Some plants such as roses would benefit from feed to encourage healthy growth
When it comes to composting, it’s a good idea to start to turn your compost over in advance for spring. Turning the compost will help aerate the mulch. Also, potting compost you brought last year could have deteriorated and become ineffective over the winter season so while you can use it on your lawn and over your soil, it would be wise to get some brand new compost for when you start to think about planting. If you do not already have compost bins now is the perfect time to plan and install bins to create your own nutrient rich compost.
Later in the month is around the earliest time you can think about sowing seeds for various plants and vegetables though you must take extra case to ensure your soil is not too cold and is warm enough for them to thrive. It’s also wise to ensure anything you do plant this month is initially covered for its protection. Watering should also be kept to a minimum. If you’re using a greenhouse, it’s also important to give trays and pots a thorough clean before you use them in order to get rid of any pests that might have survived through winter.
There is plenty to be done if you have a vegetable garden or a heated greenhouse to plan for the growing season ahead of us. Many seeds can now or soon be sown, though you must take extra case to ensure your soil is not too cold and is warm enough for them to thrive. If you do not have a greenhouse you could put a windowsill to good use. Anything you do plant this month may need to be covered initially for its protection. Watering should also be kept to a minimum. It’s also important to give trays and pots a thorough clean before you use them in order to get rid of any pests that might have survived through winter.
We should also be mindful of the wildlife in our gardens. We can attract various birds to the garden via nest boxes and feeders. If birds are in your garden over the spring season, they will naturally find and feed a lot of pests in the garden to their young. Also deciduous hedges should be cut back now if they have not been already (when we do not have a frost) before the breeding season when birds could be nesting.
It’s important to ensure the garden is kept healthy and ready for the spring. Even plants that might not need a lot of TLC at this time of year can be treated and benefited by ensuring you remove any dead or dying leaves (this includes indoor plants too!) as not doing so can attract diseases.
Here’s to nicer weather! And happy gardening!