While Easter weekend often involves a mad dash to the garden store, this year we’ve come up with a few easy ways to show your garden some love, without heading out at all.
Mulch & cover vegetable beds - if you have seedlings ready to go then it’s time to pop these in the ground. However, if you have been caught short, then this is not wasted time! Just remove any tired crops from your vegetable beds, then cover them in a generous layer of mulch or compost (or even just layer cardboard on top!). This protects the soil and minimises weeds until you are ready to plant.
Bed down your garden for winter - use any spare compost, potting mix or mulch and spread these around the key shrubs in your garden to protect and feed their root systems over the cooler months. If you have sheep pellets on hand, now is the time to throw them liberally around the garden. Coffee grinds and banana peel tea can also be used as super simple and effective home-made fertilising options.
Recycle falling leaves - rake leaves off the lawn to stop them from rotting down and killing the grass. Then you can either spread them around the garden to break down or add some to the compost.
Hunt down any bulbs - raid the shed for your last-season bulbs and saved packets. Pop these in the ground now for something to look forward to in spring.
Clean your tools - give you garden hand-tools some love. You can use warm water and a couple of teaspoons of dish soap to scrub away sap and dirt from the blades with a brush. Then just rinse the solution from the blades with water. If you see there is some rust already, you can use steel wool to buff off rust spots. Store them away in a dry place when you’re not using them, and dry them well each time after winter gardening.
Cut back the last of the basil and make pesto!
Harvest and preserve late-growing crops - this way you’ll have plenty of muesli-topping goodness to see you through winter (we’ll follow up soon with some top tips from one of our preserving super-star gardeners).
Prune back and prep the fruit trees - now is the time to give your citrus trees a strong prune back and, if you have any on hand, a generous copper spray to keep winter fungi at bay. Follow with a decent fertiliser (sheep pellets, compost or mulches are just fine if you don’t have a specific citrus fertiliser in the shed)
So there’s really no reason to put the garden on hold this long weekend - we hope this lot will keep you going?
Photo by Annie Spratt