It seems like winter has been here forever, and most of us are beginning to feel the effects. The long, dark, cold nights combined with the grey and forbidding days can drive even the most inveterate nature lovers indoors to console themselves with some well-chosen houseplants.
This is all well and good until Seasonal Affective Disorder kicks in and it becomes easy to feel insular and isolated. For many of us, when low mood sets in our garden is our sanctuary. It’s a place where we can leave our problems at the doorstep and busy our hands and minds while we commune with nature. But that avenue of pleasure just isn’t open to us in the winter… or is it?
Though the winter may seem to have gone on forever, spring will soon be upon us. If you’re itching for an excuse to get into your rubber boots and immerse yourself in your own little piece of the great outdoors, now’s the best time to start making sure that your garden is ready for spring. Here are some ways in which you can start right now.
Your gardening tools have lain dormant all through winter, so it’s time to give them a thorough inspection. If it looks like they’ve seen their last winter, it may be time to treat yourself to some gleaming new tools (how better to feel like a kid in a toy shop in your adult life?). Check out these broadcast spreader reviews if you’re likely to be planting some new seeds for the spring. The very act of treating yourself will likely cheer you up some.
Give your tools a good wash with some warm, soapy water. Check for any repairs that might be needed and treat wooden handles with some mineral spirits.
Massage Your Dirt
Now that your tools are fit for purpose, it’s time to give your soil some TLC. Clean up your garden, ensuring that dead leaves are raked up, and any wayward pieces of litter are appropriately disposed of. Turn over the soil with a pitchfork and rake up any weeds that may have sprouted. You may want to use this time to add some compost or manure as well.
Start Planning For Spring
The last thing you should do is start planting seeds arbitrarily at this point. Now’s the time to start mapping out your garden space and determining which plants will thrive in the coming months. A mix of perennials and annuals will start to bring your garden to life while laying the foundations for some bursts of colour in later months.
Don’t forget to take into account where the shade falls, and the amount of sunlight each of your chosen plants need.
Your garden may not look its best at the moment although you’re likely to have some hardy perennials adding a splash of colour here and there. If you haven’t already begun deadheading now may be the time to start. For those unfamiliar with the term, deadheading is the practice of cutting off drooping or fading flowers from a healthy stem to help to facilitate longer-term growth. This will help to keep weeds at bay while ensuring that the plants retain water for the coming warmer months.