Jo and Ian from Little Island Leaves have kindly offered a few suggestions on tasks in the garden that we can all undertake whilst in lockdown.
“Even though the weather is often grey and there’s not much daylight at this time of year, there are still plenty of things you can be doing in your garden. Lockdown can even be the perfect time to tackle those clearing and tidying tasks that you’ve put off for a while.”
“There’s still time to prune the trees and shrubs that need it. Most fruit trees and bushes are dormant and can be pruned in the winter months to achieve the desired shape, but avoid taking off the fruit buds if you are aiming for a good crop later in the year. As a general rule, a tree or shrub will always benefit from removing any dead or diseased wood, or from pruning branches which cross over or rub against one another. Try and have a plan in your head before you cut, or you might find you end up with a smaller tree than expected!”
“Some seeds can be sown in January or February, although many will need to be kept warm inside to ensure they germinate. Check your timings though – although we don’t often have frosts we can easily have cold weather in Alderney through March and April, so don’t assume your bedding plants or tender annuals will be able to go outside then! We’ve learned through long experience that January is too early for most seeds- unless you want a windowsill full of plants fighting for the light in March!”
“While many of the weeds will have died back, now can be a good time to chase out deep rooted perennial weeds like brambles, bindweed, nettles, or docks. Many of these can regrow from a small piece of root, so it’s worth making sure you don’t add them to your usual compost heap. Don’t forget to leave some wilder areas as well for butterflies, bees and other wildlife!”
“If you have a bigger project that needs materials, like a new patio, you might be better off waiting until lockdown is over so that you can go out and buy things. But other projects can be carried out while vegetation has died back, like digging a pond or building a compost heap or bee hotel. The garden can feel like a blank canvas now, which is a great chance to think of how you will use it in the future.”
“Of course, even when the weather is at its worst, you can sit inside and make plans. Why not order your seeds for the coming year, or plan out your borders? Think about aspects like the height, flowering times, and even scent for maximum impact later in the year. It’s also a good time to look at any gaps in your winter colour, so you can put plants and shrubs in to cheer up your garden next winter!”
Jo and Ian have more information available on their regular site updates. which you can find here. Little Island Leaves