Spring is one of the most enjoyable times in the garden. In cold regions the weather can still be icy in early spring, but in mild climates you can make a start on many outdoor jobs. If sowing or planting outdoors, bear in mind that soil temperature as well as air temperature is important.
Beds and borders. One of the biggest bugbears of gardening is the amount of time spent watering over summer. The best way to avoid this is to wait until after a few days of heavy spring rain, when the soil is deeply saturated, and then spread a thick layer of mulch such as mushroom compost over the soil. This locks in the moisture now, and after subsequent waterings. It also keeps down weeds and helps condition the soil.
Depending on your climate zone now it’s time to get your garden ready for winter. However, it is a general fact that growing plants during frosty winter season can prove to be a challenge, even for some of the more experienced gardeners. If you have the space for it in your backyard and you enjoy the beauty and peacefulness of tin plants, then chances are you already have a gorgeous flower garden. Or, perhaps growing flowers in your garden is part of your idea of creating a stunning landscape.
Maybe you decided to change your lifestyle and eat healthier, a feat that cannot be truly achieved unless you grow your own vegetable garden. Who knows, it could be that gardening is your newly discovered hobby that you can’t get enough off. Irrespective of the reasons why you decided to have a flower or vegetable garden, it is important to protect the plants from the low temperatures, frost and snow this winter.
Winter gardens can be extraordinarily beautiful. They may lack colorful beds and borders, but they often have a subtler, more satisfying attraction. There is, of course, no lack of color if you look closely. Many trees and shrubs bear vivid red, yellow or orange berries, and there are plenty of bulbs that flower in depths of winter.
Evergreen plants and conifers provide form and texture in every shade of green. It is in winter, however, that the underlying structure of the garden can be appreciated. Unclothed pergolas and trellises can be admired, while ornaments, such as terracotta urns and stone sundials, can be enjoyed for themselves.
A last-minute spurt of action is often needed at this time of year, to get the garden ready for winter and ensure protection for plants that need it. In many areas the cold will already have taken its grip, but in warmer climates there are still mild days to be enjoyed.
Besides tackling the many jobs described here, the fall is also a good time of year to think of redesigning the garden. While most plants are dormant you can put up pergolas and arches, build walls, design new beds, lay paths (avoiding areas where they will get covered by leaves which become mushy and slippery in wet weather) and dig ponds. It is better that new ponds are left to be filled by rainwater over winter, thus avoiding the chemicals in tap water, which can lead to the growth of quick-spreading algae.
Many persons hold out for the weather to become warmer prior to planting their vegetable garden. Nonetheless, there are a number of dedicated individuals who will be starting their herb gardens indoors this year. One consideration that must be made, when choosing what herbs to plant, is to be aware of which herbs grow effectively indoors. One good choice is basil.
Only a few herbs can be cultivated with success inside. This is generally either on account that there is not an adequate amount of light or the indoor temperature is not suitable for that specific plant. Basil is a great choice since it is fairly flexible when it comes to sunshine. It may not perform as well inside as outdoors but it is possible to grow.
The imaginative use of containers is an excellent way of prolonging the growing season. Many plants are suitable for a fall display, including wide range of evergreens, small deciduous shrubs (for foliage and berries), late-flowering perennials such as asters or sedum, bulbs and ornamental cabbages. Good choices of bulbs are cyclamen in small containers and cannas in large ones. Heathers and skimmia make good container shrubs and even certain maples can be planted in large pots.
Check the pots are clean and attractive in their own right because now, in the fall, as the plants start to die back and they are less lush and abundant, they can become a prominent feature.