20 tips – Preparing your garden for spring entertainment

Plenty of our customers use their chimineas all year round. We’ve even come across one family who used theirs on Christmas Day, firing her up and standing around enjoying festive mulled wine and mince pies outdoors, late into the evening. But most of us tend to use our chimineas in spring, summer and autumn, putting them safely to bed for the coldest months. If, like ours, your garden is looking a bit tatty and worn at this time of year, what can you do to get ready for spring? Here’s a list of essential garden tasks for late January and early February, to help you prepare for this year’s dazzling spring entertainment!

Essential garden tasks for spring entertainment

  1. If you love roses, this is the perfect time of year to prune them back, before they get cracking with the new season’s growth. Not pruning won’t cause any damage but un-pruned roses end up weak, with smaller flowers. Pruning gets rid of dead and diseased bits and triggers new, fresh leaf buds. If you want to add to your rose collection this is also the perfect time to plant out new bare root roses
  2. You probably left your ornamental grasses alone through winter, a good idea since they make brilliant shelter for insects in cold weather. Now it’s time to tidy them up, getting rid of the dead stuff so the new growth can push through. Give them a haircut, clipping the lot to a couple of centimetres high
  3. The same goes for dead perennials, which you ideally left to provide shelter for wildlife through the worst of the winter. Now you can tidy everything up, removing the dead stuff in preparation for new growth. But, just in case the weather does an unexpected nasty on us, leave some places rough and ready to provide shelter for small birds and mammals. In 2017 the Beast From the East killed thousands of tiny creatures that couldn’t stay warm
  4. You couldn’t be bothered late last year, with the weather being so horrid and Christmas on the way. But now you can actually feel the spring gathering in the distance it’s the perfect time to wash out and clean all your old plant pots, wipe, sharpen and oil your tools, clean out green slime-filled water butts and polish up your greenhouse
  5. Great plans? Now’s the time to firm them up before things start growing again – do you need to order seeds or plants?
  6. Have the winter storms caused any damage to plants, supports or structures? If so, mend them
  7. What are you going to grow food-wise this year? It makes such a difference when you spend the time planning ahead, creating a list of the seeds and equipment you need to buy – and when – in advance
  8. This is the ideal time to trim willows, cutting back old stems and diseased bits to create a good, open shape for the spring that encourages healthy new growth
  9. Prune back apple and pear trees and any fruit bushes as well – but avoid pruning plum and cherry trees until summer because it’s far too early for those right now
  10. Force your rhubarb by covering the crown with a bucket – only 8 weeks or so until they come up all lovely and pink and juicy
  11. Mulch your perennial veg to give them a brilliant start
  12. If you get frost, stay off your lawn until it’s melted. Otherwise it’s easy to damage the grass
  13. This is a great time for weeding, since the weeds are small and weak, just beginning to grow again. But remember not all weeds are sinners – many of them are essential for wildlife, and most look really pretty close up
  14. How are your dahlia tubers looking? Some people leave theirs out all year round these days but last year’s late frosts caused havoc. Check your stored tubers and remove any that are going rotten to stop the rot spreading
  15. Want to move that tree, bush or shrub? Do it now before it starts to wake up
  16. It’s time to pot on last season’s hardwood and rooted cuttings
  17. You can prepare seed beds for your veg at this time of year
  18. In winter, with no leaves to get in your way, it’s easy to spot the gaps. You deserve a beautiful view of your garden all year long. If there’s an ugly hole in your view, revealing a tatty shed or a tumble of rubbish, plant decorative evergreens to mask any ugly bits that are revealed when the leaves fall
  19. Clear your gutters and trim back any vines and climbers that have gone a bit too crazy
  20. Trim your hedges now, before the birds get busy nesting
Last but not least, extract your chiminea from its safe winter resting place, give it a good clean and dust, and re-order anything you’ve run out of, stuff like fuels and cleaning products and handy accessories. We’ll send your order out in no time, so you’ll have exactly what you need to create brilliant outdoor spring entertainment.