HSS Tool Hire Blog

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

How to Get a Head Start on Your Garden While It’s Still Cold

Image Courtesy of digidreamgrafix / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
It’s still cold outside, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a head start on your garden so when it does get warmer, your garden will be ready to take on new plant life. Pro gardeners take on different projects all year long, regardless of if their garden is in its prime. 

So, if you want your garden to thrive, stay healthy and look amazing this summer, start making preparations now.


Prepare the Garden Beds and Grounds

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First, prepare your garden beds to withstand cold temperatures, snow and wind. Start by removing dead plants and clearing out fallen leaves, sticks and other debris. Then, lay mulch in your garden, in flowerbeds and around trees to help the soil maintain a constant temperature.

You may also consider aerating your lawn now using a lawn aerator. The main benefit to doing this now is that you will have one less thing to do in the spring and you won’t have to deal with clumps of soil as you probably won’t be using your garden as much during the winter. 

(You can hire a lawn aerator on HSS Hire's website, by clicking on the link below: www.hss.com/g/62326/Powered-Lawn-Aerator.html)

At the end of the fall, you should mow your lawn to a short height. Doing this makes the grass less likely to bend under the pressure of snow and other moisture, which can lead to damaged grass and even mould.

Make Repairs

While you are preparing your garden to take on the winter, make repairs so you won’t have to spend time doing that in the spring. Things like repairing fences, painting trellises, maintaining stone pathways, cleaning birdbaths and feeders and taking care of other accessories can actually be easier to do in the early or late winter. During these months, there will likely be less snow and plants that aren’t in full bloom are easier to work around.

Now is also a good time to add new features to your garden. Adding decorations, planters, raised gardens and other things now means that you will have more time to focus on your plants come spring.

Maintain Plant Life

Pruning Saw / HSS Hire
The plants that you didn’t remove from your garden need to be well tended throughout the winter so they will look their best and be healthy in the spring. Start by using hedge trimmers and pruners to trim long branches. This will make your garden look sharp and will keep your plants healthy, as snow won’t be able to collect on the branches and break them.

Fragile bushes should be protected with burlap wraps or screens. You can wrap a plant in burlap, tied with twine, to protect its branches from winter winds. Or, you can hammer stakes into the ground around a plant, and then use burlap to create a screen to block winds. If you want, you can also add straw to the space between the screen and the plant to add some insulation, keeping the plant warm when temperatures drop.

Potted plants or fragile plants should be brought inside during the winter so they will be ready to blossom in the spring. First, bring these plants into your garage so they can acclimate to warmer temperatures and then bring them inside for the winter.

Plant Bulbs

Some bulbs actually need to be planted in the late fall or early winter so they will bloom during the spring and summer. This is an easy way to get a head start on planting.

First, make an aerial sketch of your garden, mapping out where trees, garden features and other plants are. This makes it much easier to plan what kinds of plants to purchase and figure out how many of each you will need.

Then, add them to your garden before the soil freezes. Some bulbs that should be planted during the fall or early winter include:

•    Alliums
•    Tulips
•    Crocuses
•    Amaryllises
•    Hyacinths
•    Lilies
•    Ranunculuses
•    Dutch Irises
•    Apricot Daffodils

You should check with your nursery to find out what kinds of plants do well in your area and which varieties of these bulbs can be planted in the late fall.

Start Seeds Indoors

You can actually start some seeds inside during the winter and then transplant them into your garden in the spring. This gives plants a head start and makes it easier for you to make your garden look full as soon as spring comes. This strategy can also be more affordable than buying young plants in the spring.

There are special containers you can purchase that are designed for starting seeds and some types can even be planted in your garden and will decompose. You can also recycle pots or cell containers other plants came in or even containers from the kitchen. Be sure to sterilise these containers before you use them.

Use a seed-starting soil mix that is fresh and full of nutrients and make sure the seeds have plenty of light. Seedlings and new plants need a lot of light so they will grow healthy and strong. If you don’t have a well-lit place to keep your seedlings, you can use fluorescent lights.

Once the weather is warm enough, transplant these plants outside into your garden and continue to tend and nourish them as they flourish.

While the winter months may not be the ideal time to add new plants to your garden and beautify the grounds, it is the perfect time to take some other steps that will give you a head start.

Take this opportunity to prepare your garden beds, make repairs, maintain plants, plant bulbs and even start seeds indoors so you will be ahead of the game on the first day of spring. 

For all your gardening equipment needs, please visit HSS Hire's Gardening Page: www.hss.com/cl/1014396/Gardening.html

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