Let’s start the month with a list of chores. Maybe not the most fun thing to begin with, but as this is the shortest month of the year, we thought we’d better get started.
As always, because we love outdoor play, these tasks are designed to be family friendly and fun.
1 - Get Muddy
There’s probably plenty of leaves and twigs and all sorts of scrumptious organic debris scattered across your flower beds. Dig it in to help prepare the beds for Spring. This is a great job to delegate to little ones. All they need ot a trowel and a love of mud, and they will be kept busy for hours turning the soil over.
2 - Protect From Freezing If you’ve got some plants that are a little confused by the milder weather, they may already be showing some new growth. If the weather continues to warm up then this early start will mean ad glorious spring. However, if (as is often the case) Mother Nature is luring us into a false sense of security before blasting us with yet more chilly conditions, that new growth could get damaged. Keep an eye on the weather forecast, and if cold weather is predicted, nip outside and wrap your plants up toasty warm. Dry mulch sprinkled over the flower beds will help protect the roots from frost, and garden fleece wrapped around larger plants will help keep their extremities safe. 3 - Plan Your Veggies If you are growing your own vegetables this year, now is the time to start planning what you want to plant. Use a year planner to work out the best combination of vegetables, and when each variety should be planted and harvested. Then get digging so your vegetable plot is ready for its first guests.
4 - Keep A Bulb Diary When the first shoots appear from bulbs, start a diary with your children. Bulbs are great for getting young children into gardening because they grow so quickly. Every day measure and record the height of your shoots, and make a note of the weather. Over the next few weeks you and your children can study the records to notice any influence the weather has on growth patterns.
5 - Safety Inspection Carry out a thorough safety inspection of your play equipment. With half term approaching your children will want to play outside, and its important to check it is safe for them to do so. Pay attention to any parts that may have been shaken loose by wintry gusts. And look out for slime caused by algae, fungus or damp mud that could be a slip hazard of ladder steps and footpaths. You should also make sure that rainwater hasn’t accumulated in any upturned toys or containers. Young children can drown in as little as two inches of water.
6 - Have Fun Together If you’ve all been tucked up indoors away from the wintry weather, your back garden may seem like foreign terrain to your children. Get them familiar with outdoor play by going out there and joining in the fun.