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Getting Ready for Spring

by Malachy - Horticulturist CountryLife Dungarvan | Jan 03, 2016

Getting ready for the months of growing aheadChristmas is behind us and the New Year is well under way by now so attention has to turn to getting ready for the months of growing ahead. And while the actual growing season may still be a good bit away yet, it is time to sit down and think about what you want to achieve in the year to come.

One of the first things gardeners should start to think about each year is what they want to grow. Now is the perfect time to think about what you want to grow in the garden and take stock of what seeds or bulbs you will need to buy in the coming weeks. At the moment in CountryLife we already have a wide selection of seeds in store to choose from and the selection is only going to expand in the coming weeks.

Before I even start to look at seeds I like to take a look at what I grew last year, what worked well and what didn’t. In the vegetable garden is it a good idea to look at what was used and what you could have grown more of because you ran out of it too soon.

Once I have taken note of all this I start to look at seeds and seek out new varieties that may make a welcome addition to the garden. And while sowing seeds might be weeks and weeks away I always like to have my seeds bought in advance so as soon as the weather starts to improve I can get going with propagating them.

Before the growing season even starts a vital task to carry out is to give your greenhouse or growing area a good clean. Whether you have a large greenhouse or a simple plastic cold frame this job is equally important. You must give it a good clean to get rid of any plants or materials from last year that are no use any more and that may be a source of disease that could hamper this year’s growing.

I like to give my greenhouse a wash out with disinfectant once I have removed all the plants to ensure it is a clean growing environment for the year ahead. Now is also a great time to get out some old rags and a bucket of warm soapy water to wash down the windows to help improve light levels in the greenhouse.

With the recent strong winds and heavy rain it is a good idea to spend a few hours walking around the garden and checking plants for any damage and taking care of it there and then. Broken shrub or tree limbs should be taken care of straight away before any more damage is caused. Newly planted trees and shrubs should be checked to make sure they have not moved during the recent weather. Tree stakes and ties should also be checked to make sure they are still secure.

Garden tools should be checked in the coming weeks to ensure they are in full working order. When they are not in use clippers can be sharpened and oiled if needed. Spades and edgers can also be sharpened before they are needed during Spring. Now is also a good time to have your lawn mower serviced to ensure it is in working order when the growing season takes off.