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New Year's Resolutions for the Garden

January and February; arguably the two most hated months in the calendar. The sky is grey, the air is cold and everywhere is damp. The last thing anyone wants to do is go outside and, needless to say, even the mere thought of working in the garden is regarded as utter insanity. We draw our curtains, huddle in front of the fire and promise to be better in March. What is there to do in the bleak wasteland that used to be our garden at this time of year anyway?

Well, unfortunately, the idea of hibernating until spring, although tempting, is in fact not what gardeners should be doing in these dark months and contrary to popular belief, there is lots to be undertaken in preparation for those first blooms to open and signal, with a sigh of relief, that the long winter is over. Here are a few ideas to keep you busy until spring.

  1. Get rid of unwanted debris. Piles of rotting vegetation in the wrong place can cause bacterial or fungal problems that can kill plants and trees. You can get large amounts of debris cleared and disposed of properly by a professional ground’s management company.
  2. Cut back your trees. If your garden was overshadowed by unruly trees and foliage last summer, this is the time to cut them back. It is a much easier job with less waste when the trees and plants are still dormant and leafless. If you have larger trees, you must always consult a professional who will tell you if they are protected and fell them in a safe way.
  3. Introduce and encourage the right kind of wildlife. One of the best and most environmentally friendly ways of controlling pests is to encourage “good bugs” into your garden. Flowers such as Alyssum and Asters attract predatory insects that actually reduce the number of detrimental insects and parasites in your garden.

Good luck & Happy New Year!