As winter starts to reach its end, hints of spring are in the garden, and I start to have a real boost of appreciation for the world around me. The days are getting longer – imperceptibly, but it’s happening! – buds are peeping out of branches. Brave snowdrops and even early daffodils are starting to shoot for the sky. This is a really special time of year in the garden, and it’s also a great time to turn a hand to some of the jobs that you may well be too busy for later in the year.
To make sure your garden is shipshape for spring, here I’ll share five simple jobs to complete in February and March.
Have a spring clean
Spring cleaning needn’t be limited to the inside of your home! Show your garden some appreciation in the run-up to spring by giving it a good clean and tidy. You might want to clean your patio or flagstones with a stiff brush, trim back leggy plants and clean your greenhouse, ready for new arrivals. It’s also important to make sure your tools are clean and sharp (more on that here), and see if any fences or trellises need a clean or fix. These are the kind of jobs that give a real sense of satisfaction – and when the work needed in your garden ramps up in time for summer, you’ll be glad you were ahead of the game.
Enrich your soil
Good soil is the foundation (quite literally) of any garden, and a harsh winter can be tough on soil. Now’s the time to add some good organic matter to your soil like well-rotted manure or compost, before any plants present start to burst back into life and block your way. This job may need to wait if a particularly cold spell happens – the soil needs to be workable and easily dug into. I like to just fork the organic matter over the top of the soil, a good few inches thick, and let the worms do the hard work of mixing it in. Lain on top like this, it’ll also help to suppress weeds. Your plants will thank you!
Make the most of nature
There’s plenty of waste that comes from maintaining your garden, and (in the UK anyway) plenty of rain. Can you make the most of nature’s offerings to help in your garden? Investing in a compost bin (or building your own if you’re handy) is a great way to transform waste like fallen leaves, prunings and vegetable peelings into your own ‘black gold’. Compost is essential for giving your soil a nutrient-rich shot of goodness, so I’d really recommend starting composting if you haven’t already. Additionally, a water butt makes a great addition to any garden, particularly in areas that are a little wetter.
Collecting rainwater for watering your garden is a fantastic way to save water, so consider investing in a butt this year.
Conduct some pest control
Pests may have hibernated in your garden over the winter, particularly in enclosed spaces like greenhouses and sheds. Now is a great time to get on top of them. Slugs, snails, aphids and other creepy-crawlies may be hiding under leaves, so conduct a check and manually remove them before planting out any new additions. It’s best to stick with natural and gentle pest control methods if you’re at all able to.
Order summer-flowering bulbs
This is one of my favourite jobs to do when it’s grey and gloomy outside – cast my mind forward to the summertime when my garden will be in full bloom. Grab a cuppa and your seed and bulb catalogue or browse online to purchase your stocks for the months ahead. Why not try something different this year? Spotting a new plant come to life in your garden is so exciting. If you’re in need of some inspiration, don’t forget that I offer one-to-one Zoom garden consultations to share some tips and advice. Book yours here.
Happy gardening – spring is nearly here! Katie x