Spring is just around the corner, so now is the perfect time to prepare your garden for the new season.
Caroline Knight, from Perfect Plants in Herstmonceux, has put together some of her top tips on preparing your garden for spring. Along with selling a variety of plants and garden essentials, the online retailer has a team of horticultural experts who can offer advice on plant care and planting suggestions.
Caroline says: “We have become used to experiencing the icy fingers of winter that add crisp and sparkle to even the most dreary scene, but now we can actually allow ourselves to think about spring. What’s more, we can bring the warmer season one step closer by preparing the space that we currently gaze at from windows.
“Have you noticed that snowdrops are pushing through the frosted soil and there are early daffodils already blooming? Hot on their heels will be a burst of colour in the form of crocuses, muscari, narcissus and tulips, so get outside now to inspect the unfolding drama”.
Here are a few tips to tempt you beyond your kitchen door:
• Take a pad and pencil and list all the things in the garden that don’t seem to be ‘right’. You might have a broken bench, a boring border or a plethora of small pots and this is the perfect time to do something about them. Everything starts with a list…
• Prepare your vegetable patch ready for sowing. Break up the soil, allow birds to feast on the bugs, then add plenty of compost. If you have sticky, clay soil, best wait until it’s a little drier.
• Check your containers. Large containers look far more stylish than multiple small ones. They are much easier to look after and offer more planting scope too.
• Pressure wash your deck or paving. It will not only brighten up the place immensely, but it will result in a less-slippery surface too.
• Order summer-flowering bulbs, such as lilies, gladiolus, dahlias and ranunculus plants and seeds now so that your preferred selection is available when you come to plant.
• Clear up your beds and borders as soon as warmer weather is on its way. Cut back deciduous grasses before new growth takes off; tidy herbaceous perennials and apply mulch in order to keep weeds at bay.
• Haven’t got any home-made compost? It’s a perfect time to construct some simple structures to compost most of your green waste this season.
• Sow seeds of geraniums (pelargoniums) begonias, antirrhinums, peppers and aubergines, in a heated propagator or similar.
• Check plants in the garden for pests. You can easily find slugs, snails and aphid colonies hiding in sheltered places. Also hunt for vine weevil larvae which live in compost. They are white grubs with light-brown heads and they will munch their way through your plant roots if you miss any. Consider using parasitic nematodes to ensure your pots are vine-weevil-free all season.