Following last week’s blog offering advice on gardening activities to keep colour and interest in the garden throughout winter, now it’s time to put the groundwork in for next year and give yourself something to look forward to come Spring.

This is the traditional season for planting, as we have the benefit of the soil being warm and moist, giving the plants a chance to grow roots and get established before the winter. You can also do yourself (and your garden) a big favour by getting things ship shape now, which will make life a lot easier in the long-run.

Spring flowering bulbs – this is a great place to start and I particularly love tulips. The bigger the bulb the better the flowers next year, so don’t be stingy. Get some decent quality bulbs and plant them at a depth twice the size of the bulb in the soil with some multipurpose compost mixed in. That hard work now will be rewarded with a treat come late Spring.

Wallflowers – you won’t see the benefit of this task until next April or May, but Wallflowers are worth the wait! Planted now they put out fresh roots and establish before starting to grow in the early part of the Spring, before giving a glorious display of colour later on. The beauty is that these can go on top of the tulips you have already planted. Don’t worry about smothering the bulbs, they’ll find their way through and will create a perfect display with the Wallflowers.

Trees – now is the perfect time for planting trees, fruit trees and hedging, because the warm and moist soil will allow roots to grow before winter.

Lawn – the mowing may be done and dusted, but this is a great time to improve the health of your lawn. Moss killing, scarifying, spiking, top dressing and feeding with root promoting and blade strengthening fertilizers will make the lawn more robust to face the winter and be in great shape to get going come Spring.

Soil – to finish off with something really positive, cover the bare soil with a mulch such as Bloomin’ Amazing. This biproduct of sustainable energy production is locally produced and will keep the soil warm, conserve moisture, keep the weeds suppressed and the slugs at bay. Not only that but it will break down in the winter, improving your soil so that it’s ready for you come the Spring.

The temperature may have dropped a little, but once you’re out in the garden, you won’t regret it! By all means cosy up by the fire when the time comes, but a bit of effort now will give you much more pleasure in the future.