How to start preparing your garden for 2015

Preparing your garden for spring is one great way to break up the restless monotony of wintertime blues. It is also a great way to get a jump start on all that is involved in nurturing the garden to avoid feeling overwhelmed when the frenzy of springtime gardening arrives. The following information may help with spring garden preparation. Follow these tips and make springtime less hectic.

  1. Fix elements of the hardscape such as gates, fences, and trellis. There are always maintenance jobs that need to be done periodically within and around the garden. This includes little jobs like fixing various broken structures and/or re-painting or re-staining wooden structures. Make more time in the garden during the spring and summer by doing these repairs or revitalisations during the cold days.

  2. Garden tools need attention too. It is important to care for garden tools so they work properly and last longer. This involves cleaning of some garden tools and sharpening of others. Not only will this save money in the long term, but it also helps to cut back on the spread of disease. Fresh pruning wounds can be the unfortunate places for the introduction of fungi and bacteria by dirty secateurs. Furthermore, cleaner pruning cuts may be the result of the improved performance of sharpened tools.
  3. Spring garden preparation may include the purchase, or creation, of a compost bin. Setting up the composting area can be done during the cold days of winter. This will provide a place to put waste from the spring garden while also creating rich compost as the material breaks down. Good compost is created with a nice mixture and balance of vegetable peelings, grass clippings, woody pruning, paper, and other materials.
  4. Garden preparation should always involve moving any deciduous shrubs that may need to be relocated. This must be done while the shrubs are dormant. When digging up this type of shrub a wide berth should be taken around the shrub. It is important to capture as much of the shrub's root ball as is possible. This will allow the shrub to get established more quickly in its new bed. The shrub should always be planted at that same depth or level in the soil from which it was taken. After the re-plant is complete make sure the shrub is watered thoroughly.
  5. Collecting rainfall is a great way to save on water bills and to help the environment. Spring garden preparation can begin with the installation of water butts that will collect seasonal rainfall. Rainfall is often better for some plants because of the slightly alkaline nature of tap water. Plants like Rhododendrons, Blueberries, and Camellias will benefit from rain water over tap water. To make the best of seasonal rainfall, install the water butt below a downpipe.
  6. Spring garden preparation may include cleaning the greenhouse. Prior to the arrival of spring, it is a good idea to wash the greenhouse. A garden disinfectant may be used to disinfect the floor and benches once the plant debris is swept away. The inside of the glass should also be disinfected to get rid of any disease or pests that can survive in small areas during the winter. To further prevent diseases make sure all pots and seed trays are washed. Once the cleaning process is complete allow the greenhouse to dry thoroughly by ventilating well. The greenhouse will now be ready to accept the new trays of seedlings and cuttings for the spring garden.
  7. When the worst days of winter hit, take the time stuck indoors to browse catalogues and websites for ordering summer-flowering bulbs and seeds. Gladiolus, Lilies, and Ranunculus are summer-flowering bulbs that can be planted in the early spring garden. This early spring garden preparation will result in a beautiful and colourful summer display.
  8. There are some plants that require a longer growing season so sowing seeds for these plants in January and February can make for great garden preparation. These plants may include Aubergines, Peppers, Antirrhinums, Begonias, and Geraniums. To ensure these seeds have good growth, a heated propagator should be used.
  9. The spring garden can only look beautiful and prosper if it is first cleaned up. Garden preparation must include removing leaves and other debris. This is true for ponds, lawns, and flower borders as well. Cutting old dead growth of herbaceous perennials and deciduous grasses is a part of every garden preparation. However, the cuttings can actually be dispersed about for the benefit of wildlife during the winter months. The part of tidying up can wait until early spring. Empty garden borders can also benefit from the addition of organic matter worked into the top 5cm layer of soil, that is, if the soil is workable. Use recycled green waste, compost, or well-rotted manure.
  10. Finally, seek out any hibernating pests to avoid them in the spring or summer. This includes slugs, aphid colonies, and snails that may be sheltering in the crowns of perennial plants for the winter. Also, take this time to clear out any pots from the previous year's summer bedding that have not already been cleared. Use parasitic nematodes or chemical drenches to destroy any vine weevil larvae so vine weevils can be avoided in the new year of plantings.

If you need to think about replacing a fence that you feel is beyond repair before the New Year then take a look at our range of fences and fence panels and see if there is anything to suit your needs. We aim to offer a wide variety of fencing and fencing accessories, so if you're thinking about adding some decorative panels to your garden to give it a new look in preparation for those spring/summer garden parties then take a look at what we have to offer.

Take a look at some of our other how-to posts