Perhaps not surprisingly, it has hardly been the best of starts to 2018 for those of us who like to be out in the garden. The combination of high winds, rain and frost have left us looking frustratedly through the window hoping for better things to come.
Hopefully, the weather will now begin to improve as the days gradually draw out.
As our gardens begin to wake up in early spring, the aftermath of autumn and winter is still usually very much in evidence. Leaves and other debris can be a problem as they gather in drainage areas, so ensure any spring rain has somewhere to go. Well-drained soil also helps the development of spring seedlings, so remove that debris, and put it on the compost heap.
If your garden is like mine, then weeds seem to grow at all times of the year. But at least in early spring their roots are more shallow, and easier to remove. Then don’t forget to give the ground a good mulching, which helps keep new weeds at bay. A good ground covering, such as plastic sheeting, also helps keep weeds down.
The recent high winds may have loosened fences and trellises without you realising, so just take a stroll around the garden to see if they have withstood the elements. If any need repairing or replacing, then this is the best time to do it because this is when there is normally less growth in borders to disturb.
Now is also a good time to start working on your lawn so it is in pristine condition for the summer. Give it a good raking to rid it of debris, as this brings air and light to soil level and encourages new grass to grow. Also re-seed any bare patches, and just in case we have a spring drought, keep it well watered until the seeds begin to germinate.
Don’t forget that a new scheme has been launched by the Isle of Wight Council for residents to have their garden waste collected from their home at an introductory offer of just £1 a week. The optional fortnightly scheme allows householders to subscribe online for a 240-litre wheeled bin or three hessian sacks to be picked up from the kerbside for a total cost of £60 per year, after Friday, January 28th. However, this is still good value, particularly for those with no room for a compost heap.
Sponsored by IGM (Island Grounds Maintenance)
Call IGM on 01983 761766 www.iwgm.co.uk