Winter is normally a quiet time in the garden but it won’t be long before spring arrives and youll be caught up in the frenzy of seed-sowing, growing, and nurturing your garden as it comes to life!
Order summer-flowering bulbs and seeds
This is the perfect task for a wet and windy day! Summer-flowering bulbs such as Lilies, Gladiolus and Ranunculus can be planted in early spring for a colourful summer display. Browse our catalogue or website for inspirational new varieties of seeds and bulbs to plant and grow this year.
2. Clear up flower beds and borders
Have a general tidy up and remove leaves and other debris from your flower borders, lawns and ponds. You can cut back the old dead growth of deciduous grasses and herbaceous perennials now, although if you’d like to be wildlife friendly then its best to leave the tidy up until early spring. If the soil is workable you can dig a 5cm layer of organic matter such as well-rotted manure, compost or recycled green waste into empty garden borders.
3. 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 (Pelargoniums), Begonias, Antirrhinums, Peppers and Aubergines. They’ll need to be grown in a heated propagator or similar to ensure good growth. For more seeds to sow in January and February take a look at our
4. Hunt down garden pests now
Hunting down and removing hibernating pests now can save a lot of trouble come spring and summer. Take a closer look at the crowns of your perennial plants and you may find slugs, snails and aphid colonies sheltering for the winter. If you still haven’t cleared last year’s pots of summer bedding then do this now and be on the look-out for the white vine weevil larvae, which live in the compost and feed on plant roots. Destroy any you find and be prepared to treat for vine weevils this year, using parasitic nematodes or chemical drenches.
5. Install water butts
Install water butts in your garden now to collect seasonal rainfall. Not only does this help the environment but rain water is good for watering ericaceous plants such as Camellias, Rhododendrons and Blueberries (tap water is often slightly alkaline). When installing a water butt make sure it’s positioned below a downpipe to make the most of the rainfall.
6. Clean gardening tools
Give your tools a clean and a sharpen! Caring for your garden tools not only helps preserve them, it saves you money in the long run and helps prevent the spread of disease. Dirty secateurs may introduce bacteria and fungi to fresh pruning wounds. Sharpening your tools will also improve their performance; they’ll be easier to work with and will give cleaner pruning cuts.
7. Create a composting area
If you haven’t already then try setting up a compost area in your garden. This could simply be a ready-made compost bin or you could build a compost bin yourself using spare bits of wood. Not only will you have somewhere 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 pruning’s. To help the process along you’ll need to turn your compost with a garden fork each month to keep it aerated.