As the new year continues and the winter weather gives way to spring, it’s the time of year to hire a skip and clear out unruly growth from your garden.
Hiring a skip for garden waste is a handy way to get rid of large amounts of cut-back foliage and branches, and give yourself a blank canvas to work within spring-summer 2020.
The winter is one of the best times to do this. Bare branches are easier to inspect and prune back if needed, and there’s less risk of disturbing a nesting site.
You might even make friends with a robin, as these friendly little birds have been known to land on gardeners’ spade handles with hardly a care in the world.
Here are a few other tasks to take care of around the garden at the start of the year, to get your New Year’s gardening resolutions off to the best start.
1. Clean the green
If you’ve noticed hard surfaces like patios and decking have been slippery on wet days, give them some attention, especially if there’s visible green algae or moss.
A good scrub with a firm outdoor brush or broom and hot water should be enough to dislodge any slimy surface films that have accumulated over the autumn and winter.
Resist the urge to use harsh cleaning chemicals outside, where they can contaminate flowerbeds and wildlife’s food and water supplies.
But if you need to, check at your local garden centre or hardware store for suitable outdoor cleaning products and try to use them sparingly.
2. Check the lawn
Grass growth should be minimal at this time of year, so it’s a good chance to spot any bald patches on your lawn and be ready to sow some extra grass seed when the time is right.
It’s not quite time yet – March is typically the earliest month when conditions are right for overseeding an existing lawn – but you can stock up on the supplies ready for the right weather.
Likewise, you shouldn’t scarify your lawn in January. That’s the process by which you lift out the packed-down growth around the roots, but you’ll want to wait until April or May when the grass is growing strongly.
Take this opportunity to make your New Year’s lawn resolutions and plan to follow them up in the spring – for now you can just tidy round the edges of flowerbeds for a straight-edged lawn, and prepare for the first mowing of the year.
3. Fix furniture
Finally, if you have garden furniture that lives outdoors all year round, check it for winter damage and patch it up if it makes sense to do so.
In extreme cases, it might be best to sling your tired old bench in your garden waste skip and invest in some new, more weather-proof furniture.
There are lots of options, including many with removable weather-resistant cushions, which might be a more comfortable place to sit and enjoy your garden throughout spring-summer 2020 and beyond.