It’s that time of year when your garden stocks up on good food, closes its eyes and hibernates until spring. Like a bear it’ll sleep its way through the harshest months, waking up when the sun starts shining again. Whilst it’s tucked up for its winter sleep, it’s a great time to start thinking about what needs doing in preparation for the summer. Your garden may go dormant but you don’t have to.
Here are 14 things you can do to get your garden summer ready:
1. Check trees for broken branches. Get your trees trimmed. It’s best not to prune in early spring, as many trees bleed sap if cut at this time of year.
2. Remove big pools of water from your garden. Soil filled water contains too little air for plant roots to thrive.
3. Mulch! It blocks weeds and keeps the soil moist and warm. It can protect roots and bulbs from frost.
4. Cover perennials with bags or other upside-down containers during the coldest days. Be careful when using plastic pots as if parts of the plants come into contact with the pots freezing condensation can cause damage.
5. Get your weeds under control. The coldest months of the year can be the perfect time to start eliminating weeds from your garden plots and flower beds. Prevention is always better than cure. If you see their shoots appearing pull them up right away.
6. Get planning. The cold months are a great time to think about improvements for your garden.
7. Have an early spring clean. Clear out greenhouses and sheds. Get rid of unwanted pests that might be hiding in nooks and crannies. Remove the plants before you sweep, mop with disinfectant and afterwards make sure you ventilate the space properly. Also, wash out pots and seed trays. Check any gutters and replace any broken glass panes. Wash out pots and seed trays in preparation for the spring sowing and planting.
8. Dig up annuals and replant your beds with winter bedding such as pansies and daisies for a beautiful display next spring.
9. Clean your pond. Leaves falling from nearby trees can be a real pain in the winter. They can turn your water bad and block filters on pumps. Afterwards, put a fine net across the pond. This can also be handy for keeping birds away from fish.
10. Service garden equipment. Check and service your mower, sharpen spades, forks, and secateurs.
11. Trim. It’s a great time to see the shape and form of your plants. With most things asleep you can see where there is overcrowding of plants and places where there aren’t enough.
12. Build. As most plants are asleep you can avoid a lot of unnecessary damage to them. This is the best time to relocate larger shrubs and trees. Winter is a less stressful time for them and it’s a great time to move dormant plants.
13. Have patios and BBQ cleaned and ready for the summer.
14. Have lawn furniture cleaned, repaired, and repainted or updated with new upholstery.
If you follow these simple steps your garden should be ready in no time at all.