February 1st, 2022 by
5 things you can do in your garden right now to freshen up your outside space – why wait until spring?
January and February can be dull, bleak months; Christmas is over, the days are short, the weather is cold, and everything just looks grey and miserable when you look out of the window. But does it have to be like that? Lots of us have a bit more time in January and February than we did in the run-up to Christmas, getting stuck into a project is a productive use of time, and spending time in the fresh air is always good for the soul, no matter what the weather – so why wait until spring to do a bit of sprucing up in the garden?
Here are 5 things you can do in the garden right now that will not only give you something to focus on but will improve the look of your outdoor space straight away.
Neaten up the lawn
Grassed areas will often represent quite a large proportion of the garden so a scrappy, scruffy, muddy one will make the whole space look untidy and conversely, a neat one will make a massive difference. You may think that lawn maintenance is a strictly spring/summer occupation, and mostly it is but there are a few things you can do in the early part of the year that will keep things in check and improve the overall look of the garden.
Firstly, clear away any debris on the surface of the lawn. Winter is peak time for leaves, twigs, and other foreign objects being blown over the surface of your lawn, but your grass still needs some sunlight even over the winter and these objects can prevent it from getting through to the roots and could cause it to die. There’s also more opportunity for unwanted guests to find their way into the lawn such as pests and weeds. Clear any mess away with a brush, rake, or leaf blower. Not only will it help the grass survive, but it also will look infinitely tidier.
Clearly, it’s still too wet to cut the grass yet but you can tidy up edges to maintain a crisp line around borders and paths. Once the weather gets a bit warmer, around March time, you can start giving your grass some nutrients like iron sulphate, to give it that lush, green colour we all want.
If you have artificial grass rather than a real lawn, clean it with some artificial grass cleaner. This will not only make it look better, it will also deodorise it and add a pleasant scent (and in the absence of fragrance from planting, this can give a garden a real boost in the winter).
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Clean hard surfaces
Paths, patios, and driveways will always bear the brunt of winter weather but staying on top of the nasties that can grow on them over the winter will not only make them look better but will keep them in good condition. All you need is a dry day and you can apply patio cleaner to eradicate green mould and algae or black spot remover to break down and remove black lichen. These products are really easy to use as most just need applying and leaving to work. Some require a rinse off after a few hours. For such little work, you will be amazed at the difference they make.
Ultima Plus XP Black Spot Remover and Patio Cleaner 5L
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You may not be ready to sit out in your garden just yet but that doesn’t mean you can’t get your garden furniture ready for alfresco socialising season. It doesn’t take long for outdoor furniture to look dishevelled and tired due to exposure to the elements, even over summer, so giving them a lick of paint or a new coat of stain can not only breathe new life into them but can become a real feature in your garden. Remember, items like this provide the opportunity for colour even when nothing is in bloom.
Making something yourself can be very satisfying and the act of construction is as important a part of that as the finished item. What could be better than spending some time in the garage, workshop, or even outdoors on a dry day, fabricating something yourself? With a drill and some bits of wood you could make some planters or a bird box or if you fancy something more challenging, why not tackle a summer house or pergola? This is the perfect time to get stuck in as you can start using it as soon as the weather gets warmer.
You can even use it to change up the garden such as creating new options for planting (why not think about some vertical planting?), new social areas, or items to attract more wildlife and nature into the garden.
Upcycling - giving your garden furniture a glow-up - is great but you can be really creative by repurposing objects for the garden by finding new applications for old items – recycling at its best! Old chimney stacks, barrel barbecues, or tyres can be transformed into planters. Pallets can be used to create garden furniture. And indoor items like shelving units or old drawers can be weatherproofed and used for plant stands and displays. Cast your eye around to see what you have at home that’s seen better days or lookout for useful items on selling sites or charity shops.
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