In the midst of January, it can be hard to imagine that the sun will ever show its face again. Days spent sitting out in the garden in a pair of shorts, getting the barbecue ready and the first swig of a cold beer on a hot summer evening feel like a world away. But, believe it or not, the months will roll round again and, before you know it, we’ll be back into the warm weather. But what can you do right now to make sure that your garden’s in peak condition when it finally comes back into its own? Below, you’ll find some top tips on how to get your garden summer-ready.
Sort out the Lawn
Managing a grassy area, especially if there’s a lot of it, can be challenging. If the colder weather has left your grass looking patchy, then consider an artificial lawn. If you look at sites like https://www.artificialgrassbasingstoke.co.uk/ you can see the side variety of colours, lengths and textures that artificial grass now comes in. With so much to choose from, there’s something there to suit pretty much every terrain and it will require far less maintenance in the future. Definitely worth considering if you’re despairing every time you look at the grass.
Dig the Beds
Before the frosts start is the time to get digging. Turning over the soil will allow the frost to break up over the soil over the winter, which will ultimately improve its structure. Wait until spring though for this job if you have sandy soil – over-digging during the winter months can cause a serious lack of moisture and damage growing potential for the future.
Order Your Seeds
It’s too early for planting, but you can start to visualise what you’d like your garden to look like in the upcoming months and order your seeds in. Whether you’re looking at ordering vegetable seeds, or flowers and other decorative plants, you’ll have much better variety if you order from a seed catalogue than if you look to buy from a commercial garden centre.
Check Your Winter Protection
It isn’t too late to lay down covers for your vegetable patches if you haven’t already. Covering with tarpaulin will make sure the soil warms up quicker when the temperatures rise and will also ensure essential nutrients aren’t blown away by wind and rain. If you have already covered veg patches, now is the time to check they’re still in good condition or if anything needs repairing or replacing.
This is an excellent time to prune your rose bushes. You can trim flowering plants such as wisteria as well. Tidy up perennials by getting rid of old stems. If there are old or dying flowers and shoots, this is a good time to remove them. They can form part of your compost bin for the year ahead to nourish the rest of the garden. Have a look at www.gardenersworld.com/plants/what-to-prune-in-winter to see what else you should be pruning post-Christmas.
Have a Clear Up
Perhaps not the most glamorous job, but before planting begins now is the time to wash pots, clean greenhouses and make sure taps and hoses haven’t rusted. You’ll be pleased you’ve done it when the warm weather eventually shows up!