The shortest day has been and gone, and the garden is coming back to life. Prepare for the spring and summer ahead with Which? Gardening’s top gardening jobs.
Take advantage of a sunny day, and get out into your garden to enjoy the fresh air and daylight – you’ll feel much better than being stuck indoors. Any work you do outside will also get your garden in good stead for plentiful crops and flowers this year.
For in-depth advice about what to do in your garden each month, subscribe to Which? Gardening for only £5 – either online or by calling 029 2267 0000.
1) Tidy up flower borders
Even winter stems that look attractive in frosty weather are starting to turn to mush now, so go through your borders and cut back perennials to ground level (except penstemons, which benefit from the protection of the top growth). Remove any weeds you find and mulch the soil with organic matter such as compost. The worms will pull this into the soil for you so there’s no need to dig it in.
2) Feed the birds
As natural food supplies run low, you can really help with additional feeding. Clean feeders regularly with boiling water – there’s no need to add cleaning chemicals – and top them up so that birds can rely on the food source. It’s also a good idea to provide some fresh drinking water. Good foods include fat balls, peanuts and mealworms.
Read more about how to use fat balls for feeding birds.
3) Clear veg beds
Veg that has passed its best should be pulled up and put on the compost heap. Left in the ground, it can act as a source of food and shelter for slugs and snails. Mulch the resulting bare soil with well-rotted manure or garden compost if you haven’t already done so. Don’t sow veg seed yet as it’s still too early – February is the best month to start.
4) Smarten up lawn edges
Before the grass-cutting season begins again, get your lawn looking neat and tidy by recutting the edges to create a clear definition between the grass and the borders. A half-moon tool is designed for the job but you can use a spade if you don’t have one. Use a wooden board as a guide to help get a straight edge or use a hosepipe to get a curved edge.
If you need a new lawn mower, check out our Best Buy lawn mowers.