Is your garden looking a bit tired? A little work during the winter months will have it ready for spring in no time
Gardens can look a little lacklustre in the winter, but now is the time to put in some legwork and you’ll reap the rewards in the spring. These tips will help keep budding gardeners on track in the lead-up to the warmer months.
Now is a good time to dust down exisiting pots ready for planting up. Clean tools and tidy out your garden workstation, whether bench, greenhouse or garden room. Order your seeds and plan your vegetable plot. Brush off snow or debris from planters, cold frames or greenhouses and remove any faded flowers from winter pansies.
Sowing the right seeds
Your garden should be benefitting from winter flowers such as snowdrops and crocuses. If it needs some extra colour and texture, try growing a winter flowering evergreen Clematis. Winter containers planted last autumn should be starting to look their best. To keep the display going, a weekly foliage feed and regular dead-heading will be beneficial. Newly purchased dahlia tubers can be placed on a warm sunny windowsill or glasshouse to begin shooting.
Cranborne Garden Centre’s Claire Whitehead suggests carrying out a final tidy up in the garden before spring growth begins. Cut back winter flowering shrubs, protect early blossom from frost and start applying compost to the vegetable patch. In March, as spring approaches, it’s beneficial to feed trees, shrubs and hedges. Well-fed plants are better prepared to fight off fungus and disease.
Ensure furniture is weatherproof
Now is also the time to restore garden furniture. Dust down winter debris, and check whether the furniture needs a weather-proof top up.
Take care of borders
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Make sure your borders are in good shape – brush off any snow or winter debris and ensure topiary is neatly clipped. ‘As the growth on many herbaceous perennials accelerates, think about
what will need to be supported later on in the season,’ advises Claire Whitehead.
‘Plant supports placed over perennials now will very shortly be hidden
with spring growth yet still have a crucial supporting role. This is
very helpful for peonies and delphiniums before their weighty flowers
cause them to collapse. Get your vegetable garden going, plant out early
crop potatoes, onion and shallot sets and start sowing early salad
crops, brassicas, beets and broad beans in the greenhouse or sunny
window sills. Remember to ventilate the greenhouse on warmer days too.’
For more gardening advice, visit housetohome.co.uk