Winter Is Passing – Get Your Garden Ready

By Sam Gerald

The winter, whatever there was of it, is quickly winding down. And for many of us that means warmer temperatures and excitement over what the spring holds for our gardens. There is however, quite a bit of work that has to be done between now and spring to get your garden ready to shine. Here are a few quick tips on getting your garden ready and making sure that it is the absolute best it can be.

  • Planning ahead

This is by far the best thing you can do for the look and feel of your garden. There are no gardens around that look great without a fair amount of prior planning. Knowing what you’re going to plant is the first thing to think about, and it really is only bounded by your imagination and the climate that you’re living in. You might want just vegetables for a healthy and delicious addition to your cooking, or you might want to split the garden between vegetables and flowers in order to get the best of both worlds.

  • Getting the ground ready

Since the soil is by far the most important part of the garden, and the deciding factor in whether things will grow properly or not, you want to be sure that your efforts are focused mainly on preparing it for the coming planting season. The best thing you can do is aerate and fertilize the soil right after the last frost of the winter, to get it primed for planting and to give it time to adjust to the warmth. You also want to eliminate the possibility of weeds destroying your plants, and the aeration and fertilization stage of garden preparation is the perfect time to think about using a good and safe weed killer for lawns or gardens to kill any inchoate weeds that are located in the soil.

  • Plant with a plan

Having already spent time planning what you’re going to plant, now is the time to decide where and how to plant it. The soil is ready, the weeds are dead and you’re good to go. Try to plant taller and heartier varieties on the perimeter of the garden, to allow some protection for your more delicate plants in the center of the garden from certain pests and other threats. Indeed if your garden is falling victim to pests such as ants or rodents, you might want to look into one of the many great organic pest control options such as boric acid or diatomaceous earth to get rid of them.

By following these steps you’re sure to have a pleasant and healthy garden for the spring and summer months.

 

Spruce Up Your Garden Quickly and Easily

If your garden is starting to look a little tired and jaded, then here are some tips to breathe fresh life into it without breaking the bank. A quick and easy way to perk things up is just by tidying up. Cast a critical eye over your garden and get rid of anything that shouldn’t be there. If you’ve a motley collection of garden tools lying about, then it might be worth looking at some garden sheds and getting properly organized. That way your garden will be tidy and your equipment will be secure and easier to maintain. Once you’ve tidied up, cut back any overgrown hedges or trees, hose paths and patios and tackle any weeds. By the time you’ve freshened up the lawn with a quick trim, things should already be looking up.

If you want to introduce some colour quickly, then a few well-placed hanging baskets or window boxes will provide a quick lift. For a longer-term splash of colour, consider whether your border planting scheme needs overhauled. You don’t need to start from scratch, but first identify any gaps where you could plant something new. It might be an opportunity to place a specimen shrub which could provide some contrasting texture, colour or height.

Ask yourself whether you’re using all of the available space in your garden. Many of us have bare walls and fences that could be used to create areas of added interest. There are many varieties of clematis and honeysuckle that can easily be trained onto most surfaces and they will add colour and perfume for years to come. If you have the space, consider planting several different varieties to flower at different times of the year. For example, something like Montana Rosebud will give you cascades of delicate pink blooms in spring. Candy Stripes will keep you going through summer, with Blue Angels for autumn and even some pretty white Jingle Bells to bring in the New Year.

If your garden feels flat, then it may benefit from some added height. You can do this in a variety of ways. You can use built structures like garden sheds, greenhouses, walls, fences, trellises or arches. Or you can plant trees and shrubs to help draw the eye up. If you don’t have space for any of these, then you could consider planting obelisk wire frames in pots and training climbing plants up them.

Another way of sprucing up your garden is by introducing ornamental features. Depending on the available space, you could install a water feature such as a small pond to keep fish or to encourage wildlife. If you want the soothing effects of water but don’t have space for a pond, there are also many types of small water cascades available.

So, whether you decide to invest in new greenhouses or garden sheds, or just in a packet or two of seeds, it won’t take long to spruce up your garden.