It may still feel like Spring is a while away yet but there is plenty to be doing to preparing our garden for the coming seasons.
Whether you have a huge working farm or a smaller domestic garden or homestead, getting everything set up, sorted and ready could save you a lot of time, money and effort over the coming months.
Gardens and homesteads are a big commitment if you plan on growing produce and beautiful blooms so preparation is absolutely key.
Firstly, inspect your premises, including borders, fencing, homestead outbuildings, housing and machinery for any signs of wear and tear.
Make a list of any issues you notice or repairs that need to be carried out.
Work your way through the most pressing ones over the coming weeks, prioritizing the jobs in order of importance.
For major works, such as a trailer repair or specialist machinery, call in the experts and seek advice.
When carrying out simpler tasks yourself, such as replacing shelters and cleaning gutters, do make sure you have all the necessary equipment before starting.
Don’t forget to check your tools too – blades may need sharpening, hinges may need oiling and you may even wish to think about what needs upgrading this year.
While you’re taking stock of your equipment and tools, identify if you need any supplies for your garden this year.
Have you got enough fertilizer and soil amendments?
You could even make a start on pre-assembling any structures, such as tomato cages.
It is much more useful to tackle these tasks in your shed at this time of year, rather than wait until Spring, when you could be outside getting on with the more enjoyable gardening tasks in the sunshine.
Now is also the perfect time of year to start building any garden beds you wish to add, install window boxes and order new pots too.
Preparing Your Garden
If the weather is dry, do a Spring clean of the area, removing anything in the way until you are back to the bare soil.
With this, the biggest concern is weeds.
You want these removed from the soil and either burned or placed in the middle of a working compost pile, for the heat to kill it before any seeds can germinate.
Leaving any weeds around is just asking for them to come back to try and compete with your beautiful garden plants!
Checking the soil is an important task that you can be getting on with in preparation for spring time.
Whether you want to prep the soil for sowing or harvesting produce, testing the pH and nutrient levels of the soil is always a good idea.
Do you have trees or shrubs that could do with pruning?
Now is the perfect time to do so as it is much easier to see the branch structure and shape plants.
Buddleia, Cercis, Lagerstroemia, Roses and Wisteria are just some of the plants that are ideal for pruning at this time of year.
Don’t forget to sterilize your hand pruners or shears before you start though.
By using a clean rag with isopropyl on them you will have taken precautions not to spread any plant disease around your garden.
Add some fertilizer to the soil too, to ensure that the plant has the nutrients that it needs to heal any wounds quickly.
Spring will be here soon enough, so now is a great time to review your grain or vegetable crops.
You may even wish to consider growing something new.
You could spend some time planning out your garden, allocating space to new plants, buying some seeds and getting excited for the beautiful blooms you’ll soon have arriving and the crops that will hopefully soon be growing.
Once you’ve finished planning, why not get on with the first wave of planting!
Lots of plants can be started indoors, ready for planting outside during the spring months. Bulbs and perennials are good plants to start with, as are lots of hardy vegetables, such as potatoes.
And finally, apply a thick layer of mulch across as much of the planting areas as you can.
It is much more effective at stopping weeds from establishing if it is in place before weeds start to sprout.
This is such an exciting time to be out in the garden, with the anticipation of the spring and summer months ahead so embrace the weather and get your garden, homestead or farm ready for another year of growth.