There is always something to be doing in the garden even in the depth of winter when you can be pruning and general tidying up, as well as contemplating some changes to the layout and some of the plantings. As I write this blog, the weather has turned to winter again and I am anticipating what readers can attend to from March onwards.
The gardening year tends to repeat itself although there are factors which affect timings, with the weather tending to have the greatest influence of all. Our climate is fairly steady, but the day to day weather can vary considerably and this can result in cold soils and slow growth, while dry spells can be equally bad.
I will try to cover the perennial issues of plant disorders as we proceed through the season, as weeds, pests, disease and other disorders are the curse of the gardener. Early spring is sufficient time for any digging, although best undertaken in autumn to expose the soil to the actions of the frost and helping to eliminate soil borne pests and diseases. Overgrown shrubs and garden trees may require some pruning, but avoid cutting back where flowers will be lost later in the summer and I would recommend that readers check the name of the plant and how it should be pruned, or whether necessary. Alternatively seek someone who does know. Certain spring flowering shrubs such as Forsythia and flowering currant can be pruned hard back immediately after flowering and dogwoods are best cut hard back to promote fresh stems later in the season.
As the weeks go by it will soon be time to get the lawnmower out, therefore it is advisable to make sure it is working and serviceable long before you require to use it and this goes for any electrical and mechanical equipment.
I have written several blogs on garden design and planning and these are saved on the Discover Blairgowrie page, as well as on my own website and Facebook page. Without going into detail on how to plan and implement changes for your garden, the most obvious consideration would be to review what you would want to improve and change. This could be as basic as moving or removing a plant or as complex as a complete makeover. The garden may be overgrown or lacking impact, or just not meeting your needs. Alternatively, it may be a new build with a blank canvas and may require a proper plan even if just a series of sketches.
There is still plenty time to decide what to grow this summer in terms of flowers and vegetables and remember that preparation is everything when growing plants. Ensure thorough cultivation and incorporate well-rotted compost or manure and add suitable fertiliser at planting/sowing time.
My future blogs will cover fertilisers, lawn care and some of the general routine maintenance and more gardening tasks as they require doing.