Winter is still firmly in the air, which means now is the time for all gardeners to start getting their green spaces ready for spring. But of course this should be seen as a pleasure and not a chore, considering that early prepping means you can enjoy the rewards (a beautiful and healthy garden) later on.
So, grab your gardening gloves and winter gardening gear (and possibly consider which professional Gardener or Landscape Architect you’d like to bring on board for this), and let’s move outdoors…
Doesn’t matter if they’re leftovers from last year or new ones that managed to sprout in the cold weather – get rid of those weeds. Pulling them now while the ground’s still soft from winter is also easier than waiting for the soil to turn hard and dry come spring/summer.
If you see any broken, dead or storm-damaged branches, snip them off.
If you have a patio or deck, a proper sweep and clean with lots of water should do it. And if you use cleaning products, double check that your plants (and pets, and kids) are safe.
Raking your lawn and scarifying the ground is not just about making your outdoors look neat. It also helps your lawn to breathe and not become waterlogged. Any leveling of uneven terrains or sprinkling of new grass seeds should also be done at this point.
From end of winter to start of spring is the perfect time to prune summer shrubs that flower from late June throughout fall. For pruning spring-blooming shrubs, like azalea and lilac, wait until right after flowering.
As soon as your ground starts to thaw, apply granular fertilizer around your trees, shrubs and perennials. Ensure to check for any particular nutrient needs as advised by a soil test.
Isn’t it great that you can toss much of your garden’s organic matter straight into the composter? Come spring time, remember to turn that compost pile over – that bottom layer will be the ideal mulch to scatter in your flower beds.
While scoping out your garden and yard, see which plants require some TLC to get them in the mood for spring. Like re-potting some to more protected garden areas, trimming some stems to boost new growth, pruning buddleia or roses once frost has passed, etc.
Before the new growth season starts, dig and divide most perennial flowers that are growing in undesignated spots. Divided clumps should be replanted as soon as possible, plus watered well.
As the winter frost starts to thaw, remove burlap barriers, wraps and other protective materials you added to enhance your garden’s protection against winter.
Plastic outdoor sets are the easiest to clean with some warm soapy water and a sponge. Timber and wood pieces are going to require a simple clean followed by the correct wood oil for sealing and protection.
Take note of any pruning knives and gardening shears that will need to be sharpened and oiled to ensure decent plant cutting.
Cutting sharp edges along your garden beds not only gives it a neat appearance, but also creates a “lip” to hold the mulch that can be added once the soil has warmed up.
Post-winter gardening tips do help to prevent diseases from spreading throughout your garden, but it’s also wise to check underneath your plant leaves for bugs and flies. While some can simply be brushed off, other will require a specialist pest treatment.
As it gets warmer, your garden fruit will start to attract birds and other animals. Where possible, cover them with protective netting. And be sure to treat your feathered friends to alternative snacks, like a bird feeder with nuts.
Let’s take it inside for The homify guide to (perfectly) lighting your kitchen.