Hints & Tips
First there were gales, then rain and now snow and ice. And sometimes all four in the same day.
So when things warm up a bit at the weekend we need to get out in to the garden to assess and tidy up a bit.
First have a look at the flower borders. If you left annual plants like geraniums out hoping they might survive, you will probably find they’ve died and the only thing to do is pull them up put them on the compost heap.
And any hardy annuals which have suffered frost damage need to be trimmed back to the next bud so they can put on a spurt on when it gets warmer.
You can lightly mulch the roots of shrubs with compost if you have not do so already. We’re not out of the woods yet and there could still be more freezing weather and snow to come
Saw down any overhanging branches that were blown over in the gales and put them at the back of the wood store – they’ll need to season before you can burn them. A saw like this will do fine.
But be careful when doing this and consult a tree surgeon if you are in any doubt.
Turn over the compost heap and add to it any stray leaves which may have escaped the autumn clean-up.
Lawns are wonderful as they can survive floods, snow and ice and still throw up new growth, so for now, just keep off them. You can use a garden fork like this from a leading garden tools company to lightly penetrate the soil if there is a large amount of standing water.
But this will soon drain away – and you’ll be grateful for this moisture if we get a very dry spring.
It’s probably time to pull out the last of the sprout stalks although winter cabbages can be left – they’re best cut fresh for the kitchen.
But now is a great time to take stock. As the garden is largely dormant walk around and decide if it could be better and decide which flower beds need a re-design.
You can still obtain bare root roses from your plantsmen or garden centre, these are a favourite, and remember to incorporate a little fertiliser, like chicken manure, in the hole to give the roots a boost.
And don’t be down heartened if there is quite a bit of damage. Just think how much better it will be when you’ve finished and have your feet up in front of the fire.