You cannot deny it, the weather this year has been, to say the least, interesting. A long and very hot summer has turned into a, currently, mild and wet winter. So, here are a few tips and tricks to prepare your garden for next year’s springtime, and the unknown weather that may bring with it.
- Order summer-flowering bulbs and seeds
This is the perfect job whilst it is wet and windy outside. Summer-flowering bulbs such as Lilies, and Gladiolus can be planted in early spring for a colourful summer display.
- Clear up your flowerbeds and borders
A great thing to do, is to do an all-round tidy up of your flowerbeds etc, by removing leaves and other debris.
- Clean your greenhouse
It might sound a bit odd, but washing your greenhouse before spring arrives is a good idea. Once the spring arrives, your greenhouse will be home to trays of seedlings and cuttings. Clean off any plant debris on the floor and benches and disinfect with a hot solution of garden disinfectant. Ventilate your greenhouse well over the next couple of days so it dries thoroughly.
- Sow seeds that need a longer season
In January and February, you can start to sow seeds of plants which require a longer growing season, such as Geraniums, Begonias and Antirrhinums.
- Move deciduous shrubs
If you have a badly placed deciduous shrub then now is the time to move it whilst it is dormant. Be careful to keep a wide space around the shrub when digging it up and try to take as much of the root ball as possible for the quickest establishment in its new location. When planting shrubs in their new position, place them at the same level they were previously in the soil, and remember to water them in well afterwards.
- Fix fences, gates and trellis
Although it is getting colder outside, it is the perfect time of year to get those small jobs out of the way. Any broken structures or tools are best fixed now so you have more time to spend in the garden during spring and summer.
- Create a composting area
Set up a compost area in your garden can be as easy as simply a ready-made compost bin. You can even build a compost bin yourself using spare bits of wood. Not only will it give you a place to put your garden waste, but your plants will benefit from the rich compost created when it all breaks down. Make sure you have a good mixture of grass clippings, vegetable peelings, paper and woody prunings. It is a great idea for all those holiday vegetable peelings and leftovers. Turn your compost with a garden fork each month to keep it aerated.
Most of your trees and shrubs can use a good prune at this time of year, especially those that bloom on new wood. Going into early spring will also then be the perfect time to prune and shape woody ornamentals. Whenever you prune your plants, it is a good practice to add a little fertilizer to the soil to ensure that the plant has the nutrients on hand to heal its wounds quickly.
A great product to help with many of these jobs in your garden, and saw you lots of time in the process, is the new Roamwild Multi-Cutter. This unique patent pending drop forged long handled garden shears incorporates 3 garden tools in one - An ultra-sharp light weight telescopic hedge shears, powerful bypass garden loppers and a unique attaching long reach branch cutter pruning saw. As everything is combined in this one great item, there is no more swapping tools between jobs, which saves you time and money. The shears are extremely lightweight and the carbon steel blades make pruning effortless. The pruning saw has an easy click locking mechanism that quickly attaches to the long-handled shears. All this means that you can get so much done in a shorter space of time, meaning you can be outside for less in the cold winter weather, but still look forward to a flourishing garden come the Spring.