‘Preparation is key’: What to plant now to make a ‘beautiful’ summer garden – top tips

Gardening expert demonstrates how to get rid of weeds

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The majority of plants enter a dormant period through the winter months, meaning they do not need to be watered or cared for as much. This can leave gardeners little to do in the garden, which means it is the expert time to start preparing it for spring and summer, by sowing seeds.

Experts at Phostrogen shared top tips on how to sow seeds directly into the soil during the winter months.

They told Express.co.uk: “Just like with planting winter bulbs, putting the effort into your garden in autumn and winter can reap huge rewards.

“Many annuals, including most poppy varieties, sweet peas and pot marigold, can be sown at this time of year and will provide a beautiful display in spring and summer.

“Preparation is key when it comes to sowing seeds, particularly when sowing directly into the soil.

“Ensure soil is thoroughly raked and of a fine texture, with any weeds or large clumps of earth removed.”

This can help any germinating seedlings to pole through after the harsh cold winter weather.

After, gardeners can create shallow rows throughout the bed.

The experts added: “You can do this by using a cane, or even a stick.

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“These lines are where you will sow your seeds and it makes it much easier to weed.

“For an attractive display, try offsetting the direction of your drills with neighbouring beds.

“Then, simply sow the seeds into each drill, rake over gently with soil and water well.

“Remember, different plants prefer different growing conditions, so make sure you follow the packet instructions and space out seeds as per the instructions.

“You can also sow more tender seeds indoors in shallow containers, transferring them to large pots whilst still young seedlings and finally moving them to the garden once the warmer weather has arrived.”

As well as sowing plant seeds, gardeners can also grow their own crops during the winter months.

The Greenhouse People explained that even the most experienced gardener needs a helping hand in winter.

The experts said: “If you have a greenhouse, a thermometer can track day and night temperatures, letting you know when to intervene if conditions become less favourable for particular plants like artichokes, tomatoes and peppers.

“Adding a gas or electric heater can help through cold snaps and most include a thermostat too, as an added bonus. Make sure to open your vents regularly to keep the air moving to deter fungal diseases such as grey mould and powdery mildew.

“Cold frames can be a great investment too, a halfway house between a greenhouse and outside planting. 

“Multiple layers of horticultural fleece can also be laid down on top of your plants and keep them warm and frost-free, but make sure to peg it down properly on a windy day.”

Hardy winter vegetables to grow include onions, shallots, leeks and garlic.

These varieties are known to cope well with the harsh weather the UK can experience in the winter.

According to The Greenhouse People, these varieties “virtually look after themselves”.

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