Get Ready for Spring – Essential Gardening and Lawn Care Tips for January
As the winter chill starts to fade away and the days become increasingly warmer, it’s time to start thinking about your garden and care for your lawns. With the right lawn care and gardening tips, you can ensure that your lawns will be healthy and lush come springtime
In January, lawn grass plants are in their dormant state. This means your lawns will require less maintenance than at other times of the year. However, a few lawn care tasks should be done this time of year to give your lawn and your garden a headstart in the spring.
Lawn Care – Aeration and Fertilisation
One crucial task is aeration. Aerating your lawn involves removing small cores of soil, which helps improve water drainage, air circulation, and nutrient absorption into the roots of grass plants. It also provides an easy way to break up compacted soil and remove any build-up of dead grass clippings or other debris. Using a plug or a manual spike aerator would be best to aerate correctly.
Next up is fertilisation. Fertiliser helps provide essential nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to lawns to grow stronger and healthier roots. You can use a granular or liquid fertiliser; however, it’s essential to use a balanced formula (Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium).
Fertilise your lawn once a month during active growth periods – usually twice in March and April when temperatures rise – but avoid doing so if there has been heavy rainfall, as this can cause run-off, which can pollute nearby water sources.
Lawn Care – Weeding and Mowing
Weeds will quickly take over your lawn if you’re not careful, so try using weedkillers early on before they have time to set seed and spread further around your garden. Weedkillers work best when applied while weeds are actively growing; however, some products are selective.
Make sure you read labels carefully before applying any chemical products. It’s also important to remember that some wildflowers may look like weeds but benefit wildlife, so you want to avoid getting rid of them by mistake.
Mowing is integral to caring for lawns all year round, especially during winter when grass growth slows down due to cooler temperatures. While it feels like you should not bother, it’s still worth cutting the grass; ensure you don’t overdo it and mow too low, as this can damage the grass roots.
Instead, aim to cut at most one-third of the height off at any time and never mow wet grass as this causes scalping (i.e., bald patches on your lawn). Additionally, when mowing over leaves, collect them with a rake into piles before disposing of them elsewhere in the garden or compost heap.
We’ve covered the lawn in general, but if you want to read more detail about seeding a lawn, click here. Other areas in your garden need attention to ensure you’re ready for spring, so let’s start pruning your trees and shrubs.
Gardening – Pruning Trees and Shrubs
January is a great time to prune trees and shrubs that have finished blooming. Pruning helps maintain their shape and encourages new growth in the springtime. Make sure to prune branches back so they don’t interfere with neighbouring pathways, pavements, or power lines.
Consult our arborist before taking action if you need help with how best to prune a particular tree or shrub.
Gardening – Planting Spring Bulbs
Generally, it would be better if you planted your spring bulbs in September through November, but it’s not too late to get some in the ground. Planting spring bulbs will ensure beautiful blooms come the warmer months, from daffodils and tulips to crocuses and hyacinths.
The rule of thumb tends to be to plant your late bulbs in a warmer spell (no frost), cover well with mulch and expect to see some shoots and even blooms six weeks later.
The next step is to get ready for spring by cleaning your outdoor furniture and accessories.
Cleaning Outdoor Furniture and Accessories
Now is also an excellent time to clean outdoor furniture and accessories before they get put away for the winter months—or left unprotected from the elements.
Use warm water mixed with mild soap (dish soap works well) to clean plastic furniture and accessories; use metal brushes on stubborn dirt deposits that won’t come off quickly with soap alone. For wooden furniture pieces, use mineral spirits mixed with linseed oil; apply it in light coats until all surfaces are covered evenly. When you’re done cleaning everything up, make sure it all gets stored somewhere safe where it won’t be exposed to too much rain or snow during the winter.
At planetturf.co.uk, we strive to provide you with the lawn care and gardening advice and services you need to prepare your lawn and garden for spring. Our friendly and knowledgeable lawn technicians are on hand to help you with everything from lawn maintenance to pruning trees and shrubs, planting bulbs, cleaning outdoor furniture and accessories, and offering guidance on lawn fertilisation programs tailored specifically for your lawn’s needs. Contact us today for all of your gardening and lawn care needs.