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Posts Tagged ‘Garden Tools maintenance’

Snowy Allotment

The weathermen were right the cold weather has arrived, this morning we woke to a snowy winter wonderland there is little chance of doing any outdoor gardening at the moment.

It is too cold to start tidying up the garden, leave dead leaves/vegetation there for at least another month they are homes to many insects and pests such as slugs which although are unwanted provide a welcome meal for birds, frogs, toads and hedgehogs, small twigs/branches will be picked up by the birds to build their nests – a messy garden attracts more wildlife than a tidy one.

Wooden Puddle Duck Boards - Garden Track

It is too wet/frozen to start working on the soil, you can do more harm than good by starting too early, soil can soon become compacted making digging hard work, repeatedly walking on lawns can create a muddy mess, walking on frost covered grass will leave ‘black’ footprints damaging your grass, if you have to cross your lawn why not put down some duckboards they can be easily moved around or removed when not needed and will keep your shoes clean too, they are ideal for laying on your vegetable beds to walk on when you are sowing/planting.

Why not start your gardening year indoors there are lots of jobs that you can do now in preparation for Spring:

  • Have a good sort through your seeds throw away any out of date packets, it is often false economy sowing old seeds as germination rates can be poor and growing time is wasted by re-sowing. Order/buy new seeds, have a look through seed catalogues or on the internet there are thousands of different varieties of vegetables, fruits and flowers available with new varieties each year why not have a change and grow something completely different.
  • Make a Sowing Schedule and a Planting Plan that way nothing will get overlooked and every inch of your garden will be used, have a think back to last year’s crops did some do better that others, should they have gone in sooner, would you grow them again this year?

Onions from sets

  • Onion Sets and Seed potatoes are widely available, buy them early whilst all the varieties are available, choose ones that are firm, disease free and have not started sprouting. Onion sets can be planted now individually in pots, put seed potatoes in egg boxes or seed trays to ‘chit’ make sure the ‘rose end’ of each potato is at the top this is where most of the ‘eyes’ are, place in a light frost-free environment such as a cold greenhouse, polytunnel, porch or on your windowsill.
  • Have a spring clean in your greenhouse/polytunnel/potting shed, de-clutter, re-organise and throw away broken and unwanted items. Wash seed trays, pots, sieves, labels, watering cans, water butts and garden tools with Hortisept Pro Garden Disinfectant, hygiene is very important. Give the greenhouse glass a good clean inside and out with Verritex Pro Cleaning Solution to remove the build-up of algae and let in the maximum amount of light, wipe down the staging and wash out the gutters too.

Sneeboer Mattock Garden Tool

  • Garden Tools are very important and may need some maintenance clean, oil and sharpen ready for Spring. If you already have a Propagator it is a good idea to plug it in and check that it is still working.
  • Buy new compost each year for seed sowing and growing on seedlings and young plants, use last year’s bags of potting compost as a mulch or dig in to improve the soil.

Robin in snow 1

  • Keep the bird feeders topped up and wash out regularly, birds need a supply of fresh water to drink and to bathe in (even if it is cold) bird baths are shallow and will soon freeze up.

Keep yourself busy and warm – Spring is just around the corner (I hope)

Gill

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Before the growing season gets into full swing get organised, make plans and prepare for a busy Easter Weekend and a productive year ahead in your garden.  

Tools   Check, clean, oil and replace any that are damaged or worn, make sure that you have the right tools for all your jobs this year.

Propagators   These will soon be in full use, test yours early to check it is working properly and give it a good clean, hygiene is very important when sowing seeds. Now is an ideal time to buy one, it will be invaluable throughout the year and in years to come.

 Potting Tray in black

Pots, Trays and Compost   Organise your Greenhouse/Potting Shed sort through your pots and trays throw away any broken ones, give the rest a good clean as well as your potting tray, order new Seed Compost and Vegetable Compost, last year’s opened bags may not be suitable for starting off your new seeds and plants.

Watering Cans & Water Butts   Drain and clean out, check the rose on your watering can and replace if necessary, don’t be caught out by the weather invest in a Water Butt, remember the drought we had in Spring 2012.

Steel Seed Tin 'Dig For Victory'

Store your seeds in a Seed Tin

Seeds   Take stock of your seeds, discard any that are opened and out of date and order more while stocks are still available, store in a suitable Seed Tin to protect them from Mice, Pests and moisture.

Plan   Sit down with a nice cup of tea and draw a plan of your garden/vegetable patch make notes on crops that did/did not do well and where your crops where grown last year, make a new planting plan for this year rotating your crops to get the best results and to avoid problems.

Growing Vegetables by Pauline Pears 

Read   Gardening books are invaluable for reference, ideals, hints and tips for your garden/vegetable plots.

Order Early   If you need any gardening products order early whilst products are available to make sure that you have everything you need.

Make your plans and preparations now, Easter is early and it’s the busiest gardening weekend of the year, let’s hope it’s warm and dry.

Gill

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