It is a fact that green-fingered Brits tend to spend a total of 3 years of their lives gardening. With an average of 5675 hours (over 50 years) spent getting gardens in shape it begs the question, is there a way to reduce this number? When looking at the end of the Winter season, to speed up the preperation process, what are the 6 ways to wake up your garden?
Did you know late Winter/early Spring is the perfect time to begin waking your garden from its Winter slumber?
Plants such as peonies force vivid red stems through the soil. Whereas other plants announce their presence with a green colour, this signals winter is coming to an end.
6 ways to wake up your garden
If you look after the soil, the plants will automatically look after themselves. Therefore it is important to begin preparing your beds and borders in advance so that they are ready for Spring.
To do this, it is advised to use compost and well-rotted manure. This is because they can trap moisture that appears in the ground and in addition, their dark colour allows them to absorb sunshine. Meaning plants are likely to grow at a quicker rate. This is as they are full of microscopic life which is what can bring new life to the soil.
2. Clean your garden
Before you begin planting new plants and getting carried away it is important to clean your garden. Get rid of the excess leaves lying around, mow the lawn, work out what areas need reseeding and cut down any foliage ready for your compost bin.
The cleaning of your garden in late winter/early spring could also be the perfect time to begin fixing fences, gates and trellis. This means you won’t need to worry about it when you have finished tidying your garden.
3. Clean your tools
Chances are your garden tools have been locked up in your garden shed all winter. Therefore they are likely to need some attention before you begin using them again. Although a tedious task, this is an important step as accumulated dirt that may appear on shears and hand pruners could infect your plants.
Therefore, an afternoon cleaning your tools may not only save your plants, but they could also make the overall gardening process easier.
4. Prune your trees and shrubs
If you didn’t manage to prune your trees and shrubs before Winter, it is a good idea to do it now. Ensure you remove any dead, diseased or damaged branches while making sure you take note which of your plants is best pruned before spring occurs or after the plant has flowered.
Remember to remove any dead foliage now before there is any new growth which can cause thinning to become difficult.
Late winter early spring is the most suitable time to prune fruit trees.
5. Remove unwanted garden pests
Slugs are a common insect in every garden. This is as they are drawn to well-drained soil. Slugs are known to cause havoc in the garden as they eat holes in leaves, stems, flowers and more. Although they can cause this damage all year round, they are worst around new growing herbaceous plants in Spring.
Therefore it is important to take precautions before it’s too late. Ideally, you should use slug nematodes. These are a mixture of microscopic creatures and water, pour them over your flowerbed, and they will target any snails that come near your plants.
No need to worry, slug nematodes are harmless to other creatures.
6. Prepare for planting
Once your garden is cleared, you have reduced the risk of snails, and you have pruned your trees and shrubs you need to prepare for planting.
Fruits – Most of the time, growing fruit in the UK can be a tricky task. However, this is not impossible and when done well, can even contribute to a healthy diet.
Vegetables – Vegetables are best planted when the soil is warm. Therefore March could be an ideal time to plant vegetables that can withstand the remaining cold weather of winter.
Herbs – Herbs can be a great way to include additional flavour in your food. Why not allocate a specific part of your garden to grow herbs. Ideally, they want to be near your kitchen, outside the closet door to your kitchen or on your kitchen windowsill are both perfect places.
To conclude, you may be questioning if you really want to go outside into the cold and rain to do some gardening. If this is you, just think how content you will feel when Spring comes around and you are ready to start spending time outside.
In addition, Winter is the perfect time to take advantage of plant dormancy which can help minimize damage whilst pruning. However, these plants don’t include those that bloom and fruit off of old wood, so bare that in mind.
However, make sure when you are gardening that you avoid making garden mistakes. These can include ensuring your plants have plenty of time to grow. Especially as annual nursery plants won’t stay small for long. Furthermore, make sure you are aware what each plant requires. This is as not all plants will grow in all soils.
Therefore, get out your tools and gardening equipment locked away in your shed. Remove the dust, get out the bin bags or the brown bin and spend some time in the cold fresh air getting your garden ready for when spring comes around. Chances are you’ll thank yourself later on.