5 spring gardening tips
The Easter weekend is traditionally the moment when even the most fair-weather horticulturalists break out the trowels and get to grips with the garden, which is finally coming back to life after its long hibernation.
This year...well, just take a look out of the window. The ground is frozen, temperatures are stuck in the low single digits and there's nothing to brighten the gloom apart from the odd foolhardy daffodil. Winter is still in full swing, and worse yet, there's no sign of any real change on the horizon.
Under the circumstances, you'd be forgiven for turning your back on the garden and spending the bank holiday on the sofa - but don't throw in the towel just yet. In spite of the weather, there are jobs you can be getting on with this weekend which will stand you in good stead when the sun finally does decide to put in an appearance. Here are 5 spring gardening tips which you can take care of without getting (too) cold...
1. Sort and tidy the garden shed ready for the busy time ahead.
No matter how carefully you think you've stowed everything away, the first time you open the garden shed after the winter break you're likely to be in for an unpleasant surprise. Sweep out the leaves and cobwebs and make sure all your tools are clean - you'll thank yourself for it in a few weeks' time.
2. Plant up containers with spring bedding and bulbs.
A splash of colour by the front door or on the patio will help you forget about the miserable weather outside. Your local garden centre will be best placed to advise on the plant varieties that will thrive in your part of the country, but take a look at these beautiful spring containers for inspiration.
3. Sow tomato seeds in plant pots on the kitchen windowsill.
You don't need a greenhouse to get going on your veggies; a windowsill will do just as well. Follow the instructions on the packet and the seeds should germinate easily, (and this is good one to get children involved with if you're running out of ways to entertain them). You can also sow cucumbers and peppers, especially if you do have a greenhouse to grow them on in when the weather picks up.
4. Prune your roses if you haven't already done so...
...but keep an eye on the weather forecast and avoid pruning if a frost is forecast.
5. Edge the lawn to tidy it up, even if you're not able to cut it yet.
It's depressing having to look out of the window at a lawn that's grown scraggy and whiskery over the winter. Sorting out the edges neatens everything up (though do be careful to avoid walking on the lawn if it's frozen; you'll bruise the grass, and it can take weeks to recover).
Once you've done all of that, get yourself back inside and have a cup of tea. You're nicely set up to get going as soon as the weather breaks.