The winter months are not typically the busiest for the green-fingered among us, as many of our plants go into hibernation in the colder weather.
If you’re looking to get back into gardening as the days get longer, however, there’s plenty that you can be doing now to sow the seeds for a spring and summer full of colour.
Get ahead of the game
Many plants that grow from bulbs like tulips, crocuses and gladioli need to be planted in colder conditions if they are to be at their best come spring and summer.
So now is the time to find a spot that will need brightening up in the months to come and fill a pot with some bulbs – even better the higher rainfall at this time of year should do much of the watering you’ll need to do for you!
If you time it right, just as the days get warmer and you want to spend more time out in your garden relaxing, you’ll be doing so to the backdrop of some bright fresh blooms.
Keep it tidy
If you’re going to be active in the garden come the summer, save yourself a job then by keeping on top of your maintenance now.
Cut back overgrown areas, use a petrol garden strimmer to keep your lawn in good shape, and remove or repair plants that are showing signs of disease.
You shouldn’t have to do this too regularly at this time of year, either, with the colder conditions meaning hedges and lawns will not grow back with quite the same ferocity as they do in the summer.
Use those unwanted items
After you’ve had your clear-out, don’t let the cuttings go to waste! You can turn them into compost to feed your garden over the year to come.
While there are several compost bins out there if you’re looking to invest, you can also do the job with a heavy bag that blocks out light – perhaps reusing the kind of one that you might have bought compost in before.
Make sure you get a good mix of ‘green’ (plant debris, cuttings) and ‘brown’ (egg boxes, cardboard) material to ensure the right mix of nutrients and aeration.
Find some specialists
Just because it’s cold, grey and wet most of the time in winter, that doesn’t mean that our gardens have to look sad too!
There are several winter specialists that you can plant to bring some colour and sweet smells to your garden at this time of year.
Daphnes, heathers, clematis and cyclamen can all be combined in pots and planting boxes to give you a garden that is still worth showing off when the nights have drawn in.