Hints & Tips
Winter chills are definitely upon us. All across the land, grumpy middle-aged fathers are having to abandon their Dickensian miser-character impulses and having to turn up the central heating as small children, shivering even though they are already wearing two fleecy sweaters as well as the ridiculous rabbit-eared onesie their aunty bought them for Christmas, are plaintively complaining about the cold.
Outside the air and sky is as grey as every woman’s emergency bra and the atmosphere has a strange other-worldly feeling as though the year hasn’t really started yet and s just waiting until it becomes a bit warmer and a tad lighter.
Still, we are past the winter solstice so, in theory, we really should be seeing some changes soon and then we’ll be seeing the usual, signs of Spring, crocuses, lambs, glorious daffodils and rows of flipping chocolate Easter eggs in every shop.
But what’s to be done? Is there a task or two for the eager gardening freak who can’t wait for the buds to start a-popping?
Well, my good friend and gardening guru Brody tells me there are a few tasks that are definitely worth doing during these cold and grim times. So here they are…some more sensible ideas from my scruffy, bearded fountain of knowledge. I must be getting old, this is far too practical for words. None of this is too tasking but do make sure you wrap up warm, take regular breaks, keep yourself hydrated (posh phrase for drink water) and take it easy
- It’s a good time for getting rid of any rotting wood or foliage, getting trees and shrubs ready for the growing season.
2. Clear all your borders and vegetable patches of detritus, so reducing the chance of diseases and stopping pests from getting in there. Clear up the ground with a a rake.
3. You might want to start preparing your beds for planting if the soil is not too hard. You’ll need a good quality garden spade and garden fork These fine examples from MD Green Valley (spade pictured) cost only £39.00 each with FREE delivery and have sustainable ash wood handles so are warmer to the touch than aluminium tools, ideal for these cold days.
4. Its a good time for a general tidy of your trees and shrubs too. Getting rid of any dead foliage or branches and removing anything dodgy.
Plus, it’s a very good time to prune pear trees or apple trees. They are sleeping deeply so give them a good haircut and cut back andy new growth to a few new buds and also try thinning out branches so light and air (when they arrive) can get in there to the centre.
You’ll need a good saw and lopper on big tough branches and good quality bypass secateurs for the small ones. Any dead branches can be handles with anvil secateurs. This great twin pack offers both bypass and anvil Wilkinson Sword secateurs for a very good price.(£29) plus FREE delivery.
5. Another good thing to do is secure all your fences, tidy up your greenhouse and any pots or so on, make sure your water but (if you have one) is not clogged up and generally prepare for the work ahead.
Then have a cup of hot tea and a couple of very nice biscuits, although I reckon you won’t be too cold anymore if you get all that done.
So that’s it for me for this week. Don’t forget that our great Pre-Season Sale is still on and there are some super bargains still to be had. And don’t forget that if you need help and advice, our helpful and friendly team is always there on 0345 4588 905. Well, I say always, actually its 9am-5pm Mon-Fri and 10am-4pm Sat. They’re very good… just look here….