With a glimpse of sunshine every now and then, we can sense Spring may be on it’s way. Are you itching to get out in the garden and prepare for this year’s growing adventure but not sure where to start?
When it’s warm and dry enough, you can get a few things done this month that will help you get the most from your crops later on in the year. Here are a few ideas….
Repairs and Maintenance
There are often many winter days when it’s practically impossible and not very attractive to work outside, but there are probably still a few jobs you could get done this month; repairing tools and fences, getting rid of debris and perhaps building that compost heap you’ve been meaning to get around to for ages.
Edges can be defined or re-defined now. Cut through with a sharp spade and either edge there and then or mark your lines with string for when you get around to finishing the job.
If you already have a mature compost heap, take out any soil from the bottom that’s ready for planting and put it on your planned veggie patch or pots and containers. Make sure containers are well-drained or the soil will get waterlogged in the rain.
Still a dodgy month for the birds. Remember to put some water out and check it’s not frozen. Small birds can’t peck through thick ice and maybe having trouble finding fresh water to drink.
As soon as the ground is workable, things can start happening this month. In a sheltered spot, certain types of garlic, onions and even asparagus crowns can be planted now. Prepare the ground well and double check on the product – before you buy – for growing instructions. Some varieties need a later planting. Also, this month, trees and shrubs can be planted – again, not if the ground is solid with ice!
Established plants can be pruned and generally looked after before they start budding in the spring. Seed potatoes should be chitting by now. Buy from a good supplier and lay them separately in a box in the dark – not too hot or cold – so they can start sprouting.
Harvest winter crops. With a little luck, you may have some winter spinach or chard to eat now. If you can, use them before they start flowering in spring starts. Unless you want to grow them for seed next year that is. Although a quick point here: Many seeds you buy are hy-brids and won’t necessarily produce good seed. Some will though. I’ve had great success with parsnips over the years.
It may be worth leaving one or two plants to do their best but only if you have the space and the inclination! Also, try leaving a bit of the stem of a winter cabbage in the ground, make a couple of cuts across the top and it may produce some tasty spring greens.
Check on planting times and decide when you need to buy the seeds, plants or trees you are hoping to get going this year. Make notes so you don’t forget. Garden centres can run out of seed potatoes or onion sets within a couple of weeks of delivery. Don’t miss out.
Happy Gardening and roll on Springtime!
P.S. This post has been taken from a must-have garden journal!
My Garden Journal
This handy garden journal is printable and usable every year. Although buying expensive journals in bookstores is delicious, printing out just what you need when you need it can be a great help to your pocket and also the resources of the planet. Not all journals you buy are recycled or recyclable after all.
A simple document folder is all you’ll need to keep your pages safe.
Every month has some gardening job suggestions for temperate climate dwellers. Adjust to your region and weather conditions as you need to. Gardening has to be a flexible hobby simply because we can’t control the weather!
There are also a few handy gardening tips and resources you may find helpful. Keep the journal on your desktop or whichever digital space is most easy to access and print out the ‘notes’ pages as and when you need them. In busy months, print out more of the same!