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How to prepare your garden for spring

Now that the summer is coming to end it's time to start preparing your garden for those cold winter nights. As we enter Autumn we will start to see the leaves fall from trees and this is when your decking and fencing are at their most vulnerable state.

But, it's also essential to make sure your garden is ready to grow again in the spring of 2023. This means cleaning up your garden collecting seeds and preparing the soil for winter. 

Throughout this blog, we give you some tips and tricks to make sure your garden is ready for the spring of 2023.

Buy and store bulbs and seeds 

When it comes to ordering new summer-flowering bulbs and seeds this is the best time to do it. Many stores will have offers on to allow you to get some cheap seeds ready for you to grow next year. Some plants such as lilies and gladioli can all be ordered now and then planted in the early spring as they take slightly longer to flower.

Now the nights are getting darker quicker one way to make the most of those nights when you’re stuck indoors is to go through and browse online for brand new bubbles and seeds to inspire you to grow something new in 2023. 

Bulbs and seeds planting

It’s also worth going around your garden and collecting any of the seeds from this year's plants. Many of your garden plants will begin to die off exposing the seeds. These are great for next year as will already be filled with the nutrients ready to grow next year while also saving you some cash. If you have collected hundreds of seeds and don't plan on using them selling them online is a great way to make a small amount from your unused seeds 

Make sure to store all your seeds in boxes in a dry dark place as this will keep them safe and stop the growth over the winter. 

Garden furniture winter maintenance

When it comes to your garden furniture it’s important to look after it just like you would if it was your dining table or sofa. Your garden furniture may need some updating or repairing after lots of use over the hot summer period. If It’s made from Plastic then it can be easily washed with soapy water and a sponge. 

Whereas for Timber you may need to pay a bit more attention, including the use of oil and sealants. This helps to seal it over the winter and protect it through the summer months. When doing this check for the signs of any damage or rotting as those bits of timber may need replacing or some extra treatment.

fencing and gate repairs 

Along with your garden furniture, your gates, fence posts and fence panels may also need some work. This could include another coat of paint or varnish or even replacements for any broken parts.

Winter is the ideal time of year to get all these easy maintenance jobs out of the way, so you don’t have to mess around doing them in the new year. Make sure you regularly check your fence panels, gates and posts for any sign of weather damage or rotting. As these will be made worse through winter, so need to be replaced if you want your fence to remain standing before the new year. Broken panels can also become a security issue as well as Safety one. 

Once this is done, you must clean your fence panels and gates with a power washer to remove dirt and moss as these can be a cause for increased rotting and decay. Make sure to let the wood dry completely before applying two coats of stain, paint or wood preservative, this will add that extra layer of protection and last all year round. 

Cleaning your tools 

Just like your fencing, your tools can also become damaged either through rot or wear and tear. So It’s best to clean your garden tools to keep them in working order. We recommend oiling and sharpening your garden tools to help improve your efficiency when it comes to trimming back the bushes or digging holes for new plants.  

Just like with your tools. It’s important to check on your machinery just like you'd check the oil or tyre tread on your car go through your machines and check for wear and tear, check the oil levels and make sure everything is still in clean and working order.  

Tidy up your garden 

Having a good general tidy-up around your garden would include removing leaves and other debris from flower beds and grass. You can cut back the old dead growth of deciduous grasses and other plants. 

Although, you don't have to throw these away or pile them up in areas of your garden to allow the wildlife to use them as shelter. Or through them in your compost bin, which we talk more about at the end. 

Tidy up your plants

Clearing the borders and beds back to bare soil will make your life much easier when it comes to re-planting in 2023. Putting the dead organic matter you’ve cleared away into your compost pile or bin to break down. Remove any weeds you can see and throw them away... Don’t compost them, as the seeds will germinate and cause you a problem over the winter as your compost bin begins to become alive. 

Clean out and wash your greenhouse

Your greenhouse, whether it be plastic or glass will have had a lot of use through the spring and summer period. So Now’s the perfect time to give your greenhouse a good clean, ready for spring. Washing the outside of your greenhouse with disinfectant or detergent will help to remove algae, moss and general grime that has gathered through the year. 

Greenhouse

 Then in the spring, this will allow for more light to shine through helping with the growth of your plants, while also removing potential pests and diseases that may grow. It's also important you give the inside a good clean too, as overwintering pests and diseases can survive in the smallest nooks and crannies of both plastic and glass greenhouses. 

Ventilate your greenhouse well over the next couple of days, so it dries thoroughly, making sure nothing new can grow. Once your greenhouse is clean and dry, take the time to inspect the structure for any damage to glass or the framework and replace any broken parts, so you don’t have to do this next year. 

Sow any seeds that need a longer season

Some of your planets may need to be planted In January and February, as they have much longer growing seasons compared to your carrots and lettuce. Plants such as geraniums peppers and aubergines will need to be started in your greenhouse or indoors where it is warmer to allow them to grow to full strength.

Install water butts and start collecting rainwater

With Yorkshire just coming through a hose pipe ban. Many gardeners have had to come up with alternative strategies to keep their gardens alive and growing, especially after the extreme heat waves here in the UK. 

Installing a water butt in your garden this winter to make the most of seasonal rainfall is a great way to save water for the spring growing season Most of the year’s rainfall is expected soon, so now’s the time to collect it! 

Harvesting rainwater is essential for environmentally friendly gardening. Especially with the cost of living rising and hose bans in place, watering your plants is getting harder by the day. 

Storing your rainwater is good as it is the best type of water for your plants. Ericaceous plants in particular, such as camellias and blueberries, do best with rainwater since tap water is often full of chemicals that aren't perfect for plants' optimum growth. 

When you install your water butt, position it underneath a downpipe from your home or shed. If you’ve got a closed drainpipe, you’ll need to get a diverter kit to siphon off some of the rainwater. Installing multiple water butts together or around your garden if you have the space is ideal, as you duplicate or even triplicate the amount of water you're saving each year. 

Create a composting area

If you haven't already, now’s a great time to set up a compost area in your garden. This could be as simple as buying a ready-made compost bin or you could build your own.

A compost area provides somewhere to put all your organic waste from your home and garden. Once it has broken down, you'll get a lovely, rich compost that your plants will thrive on. Make sure you have a good mixture of grass clippings, vegetable peelings, paper and woody pruning. 

Cleaning your soil

Make sure to always keep an eye on it and turn it regularly as compost can become warm and even set a light in some more severe cases, but this is very unlikely as long as you treat it.

Soil preparation also gives you the chance to use compost that has been maturing over the winter months. The bottom layer of your compost pile makes for perfect mulch for your flower beds, and will also help you save money on compost that isn't as efficient as your homemade compost. 

Decking repair 

For your decking, Maintenance is key and cleaning your decking is vital to extend its life. Firstly, you should look to sweep away any fallen leaves and debris. They often hold moisture which can, over time, cause them to rot. Moss is a common inhibitor and can lead to the growth of mould, which loves damp environments. 

Restoring any damages that may have occurred is vital. Minor damage doesn't mean that your decking has to be disposed of, and can usually be easily repaired. Any cracks or breaks in the timber that are left over winter, could result in further damage to the rest of your decking. 

Timber decking

Make sure to use a sealant or timber stain. This can be applied using a brush to the decking, keeping it protected through winter into the new summer. Sealing and protecting is the best way to protect your decking from the elements. A protective finish will prevent moisture damage and protect your deck from splitting, cracking and warping. Remember, wood treatments will only work if the timber is clean and dry. 

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