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Although the weather isn’t that conducive for getting outside into the garden and enjoying your outdoor space, there are many things you can be doing now to tidy up in preparation for a splendid Spring and Summer ahead.
Foster Your Flower Beds
There is nothing quite like rolling your sleeves up and having a good old tidy up, especially if you have an eye for design. Ridding your outside space of rotten leaves ditching the debris from borders, lawns and ponds if you have them. You can safely cut back the dead growth of herbaceous perennials and deciduous grasses now, although your wildlife friends would appreciate it if you could leave this section of the tidying until Spring. You could also consider incinerating your garden waste and can save money by making your own from Gas Oil Drums, with clear instructions available across the internet. Always check with your local incineration laws to avoid getting into bother.
At this time of year, January and February, you can begin to sow seeds that require a longer growing season. Geraniums (Pelargoniums), Begonias, Antirrhinums, Peppers, and Aubergines all fall into this category. Saying that they do need to be grown in a heated propagator to ensure strong growth.
Purge The Pests
Doing your homework and ridding yourself of any hibernating horrors right now will prevent a whole lot of heartache come the spring and summer months. If you take a good look at your perennial plants, you may well find slugs, snails and other aphid colonies that have taken shelter for the Winter. This is also a good time to clear last years summer bedding pots if you haven’t got around to it as yet. What you want to look out for are larvae, in particular, white vine weevil larvae as they live right down in the compost and, without control, will like nothing more than to feed on any plant roots. There are specific chemical treatments available to destroy such an infestation so seek advice from a gardening store or online.
Move deciduous shrubs
If, last year, you decided any deciduous shrubs you have in your garden were not in the best spot to show them off, then now is the time to dig them out and move them, while the root is dormant. You will want to do this when the weather is calm, and the wind is at a minimal This is to prevent the roots drying out. When you plan the removal, make sure to leave a wide circle around the shrub as this will allow you to dig up as much of the root ball as possible. This will encourage the shrub to take root in its new home as quickly as possible as establish firm tendrils. Be careful to plant at the same level it was previously situated in, in the soil and you must, must, MUST give it plenty of water once the transfer is complete.
Compost The Most
Do try to establish a designated area for compost somewhere in your garden. Buying a ready-made compost bin fit for purpose is one way of achieving this or again, to save money build one yourself from any spare wood you may have laying around. The plants will benefit hugely from the rich produce created as your garden waste breaks down. Don’t just leave it to your grass clippings, remember to add any vegetable peelings, paper, and any pruning by-products. Give it a good turn with a hoe or fork every month; this will aerate your compost and keep it moist.