Bob’s Blog: Winter Chores in the Garden

Hi folks. How are you? Bob Allium here. Well, we’ve brought in the New Year and now it’s time to start preparing and planting for Spring. You’ve probably abandoned most of the resolutions you had made, but you’ll still be keen to get out into the garden. So, what’s on the menu?

Turning the Soil

First things first: you need to prepare your beds. Turn the soil over to a depth of about a foot and add organic materials like decaying leaves, rotted manure or seaweed, bark and compost. Once you’ve given the soil a good going over, level it out with a rake and remove any clods, rocks or weeds. Give it a few week’s rest, and then the soil will be ready for planting.

Pruning

The dormant season is when climbers, trees and shrubs are absent of any leaves. This is the ideal time to do some pruning. Put on something warm if temperatures are low and prune your wisteria, beech trees, apple trees or pear trees. Note that some species should not be pruned until spring, otherwise they’ll be made into an easy prey for disease.

Other Winter Chores

If you’re in a blustery or cold part of the world, now’s a good time to give newly planted trees, hedges and shrubs a bit of TLC. Insulate roots from the cold with a thick layer of dry mulch and do what you can to prevent wind from bashing up fragile plants. A polythene sheet does the job, granted it’s stretched over a homemade frame and kept clear of any foliage.

What to Plant Right Now

Enough of the maintenance work; you’ll be wanting to get some plants into the ground. January and February are good months to sow vegetables like beets, carrots, chard, leeks, onions, spring onions, peas and radishes. You can plant a few flowers, too, including coleus, cosmos, black-eyed Susan, sweet peas and sunflowers.

That’s it for now. You’ve earned a rest – see you next time!

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