1. Order Summer flowering bulbs and seeds
This is the perfect task for a wet and windy day. Summer flowering bulbs, such as Lilies, gladiolus, and ranunculus can be planted in early Spring for a colorful Summer display.
2. Clear up flower beds and borders
Have a general tidy up and remove leaves and other debris from your flower borders, lawns and ponds. You can cut back the old dead growth of deciduous grasses and herbaceous perennials now, although if you’d like to be wildlife friendly then its best to leave the tidy up until early spring. If the soil is workable you can dig a 5cm layer of organic matter such as well-rotted manure, compost or recycled green waste into empty garden borders.
3. Clean the planting areaSet aside a clean area for your plantings before spring arrives! This areas will become home to trays of seedlings and cuttings.
4. Sow seeds that need a longer season
In January and February you can start to sow seeds of plants which require a longer growing season, such as Geraniums (Pelargoniums), Begonias, Antirrhinums, Peppers and Aubergines. They’ll need to be grown in a heated propagator or similar to ensure good growth. .
5. Get rid of garden pests now
Hunting down and removing hibernating pests now can save a lot of time and work over the Spring and Summer months. Take a close look at the crowns of your perennial plants and you may find slugs, snails and aphid colonies sheltering for the winter. If you have not cleared last year's pots of their bedding, do so now and be on the lookout for the white weevil larvae, which live in compost and feed on plant roots. Be sure to destroy any you can find.
6. Install Water Butts
These are used to collect water. Not only does it help the environment, it is also very good for plants in area 4, which is most of New York state.
7. Move Deciduous Plants
If you have a badly placed deciduous shrub, now is the time, while it is still dormant, to move it. Choose a calm day to prevent the roots drying out. Make a wide berth around the shrub when digging it up. Take as much of the root as possible for the quickest establishment in its new surroundings. Try to place the shrub in the same hole depth as it was previously. It is important to water well after replanting.