Winter hasn’t been kind this year, has it? Very cold and damp weather isn’t great for gardening, and the odd sunny day doesn’t really make up for it. If you’re stuck with a lot of dead plants and muddy grass, it might be time to try and cheat a little bit: here are a few handy ways to cheat at gardening before Spring starts.
Start growing new plants indoors
You know that room that always feels too cold in the winter? It can make a great place to start growing plants ahead of time, without putting them in danger of getting soaked or covered in snow. Most plants will re-grow once winter’s over, but they’ll take a long time to reach full maturity if they start midway through spring. Having a few potted plants ready ahead of time gives you something to cover up empty spots with while everything thaws out.
If you have a greenhouse or glass porch that warms up in direct sunlight, you can start preparing warm-weather plants in them. This is great for taller greenery like sunflowers since they can take a whole season to reach their maximum height.
Pull up weeds
Weeds might survive the winter, but the cold weather will make them weaker and easier to spot. Once the snow’s cleared up, spend a few minutes walking around the grassy parts of your garden to pull out any big weeds you find. This gives other plants more root space to grow during spring.
Weeds can also be a great way to build up some extra compost. High temperatures will destroy their seeds and make them safe to use, so try to keep their roots exposed to sunlight on the patio or a table until they turn brown. If that isn’t going to work, drowning them in boiling water can be enough to turn them compost-safe.
Use fake grass
Artificial grass doesn’t have to replace your entire garden all at once. It can be a sneaky way to get rid of spots where the grass can’t grow properly, like shaded areas or dry patches of bad soil. Winter weather doesn’t usually damage fake grass, either, so a single purchase could last years without needing repairs.
Of course, you can always replace the entire garden that way. You won’t get any naturally-grown flowers in the grass, but your garden will stay looking neat through every season.
Set up a water system
Rainwater and melting snow will keep your plants fed during spring, but it’s much harder to hydrate them during summer. If your garden is too large, it might take a dozen trips with a watering can to cover each dry area, which can hike up your water bill and waste valuable time.
There are plenty of ways you can use free water to do the same thing. Rainwater barrels are a common choice, especially in areas where rain is rare but heavy. A grey water harvesting system can do the same thing with waste water from your bathroom or kitchen if you’d prefer to refill your supply that way.