Despite waking to a blanket of snow this morning in the South East (a bit of a surprise) Spring is on the way. Here are a few gardening jobs to get your garden prepared for the growing season.
- Prepare your soil. Weed your beds then apply a good layer of well-rotted manure or compost as a mulch. The worms will gradually pull the mulch into the soil underneath where it will help to improve your soil’s structure and add nutrients.
If you are planning to grow your own and have a vegetable plot cover the soil with some plastic or a cloche will help to warm the soil before you sow your seeds. This helps with germination of the seeds.
- Prune any winter-flowering shrubs that have finished blooming. Examples are Winter Jasmine (Jasminum nudiflorum), Mahonia species, Winter Sweet (Chimonanthus praecox) and Winter Honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima)
- Start sowing some seeds. If you are planning to grow your own tomatoes, peppers or cucumbers from seed now is the time to sow them. They will need to be grown inside though. I put mine on my kitchen windowsill so they are warm and get plenty of light. I bring some compost into my lean-to for a few days so it is a little warmer before I sow my seeds.
- You can plant trees, shrubs and hardy perennials as long as the soil is not water-logged or frozen. Adding well-rotted manure or compost to the soil when you backfill the planting hole will help get your new plants off to a great start
- Spring bulbs. All bulbs will benefit from a feed before they begin to die back. As daffodils finish flowering deadhead so they produce a flower for next year and not put their energy into seed. Large clumps of Snowdrops can be divided now.
- Clean and repair any garden tools. I will be taking all our edging shears to the knife sharpening guy (https://www.knifeninjas.co.uk ) at Tonbridge Farmers Market to get them ready for the Summer. Also, check the sharpness of secateurs and shears. Wash your pots and seed trays in warm, soapy water before using to make sure there are no pests or diseases lurking.
Getting these done will get you and your garden ready for the growing season which is just around the corner (I hope!)