A new year and a clean slate

When you’ve lived in one place for some time, stuff accumulates. We all have corners full of random tat, plants that have outgrown their space, and shrubs that just aren’t earning their keep. The new year is an ideal time to come to grips with this garden ‘stuff’ and be rid of it.

First in line are the random pots, bits of trellis and old, worn-out tools. They really won’t come in handy, so get rid of them. Wear strong gloves and long sleeves, as there are bound to be spiders and centipedes in the heap.

Most of us have a cupboard full of old seed packets and garden chemicals. Old seeds can be used up as a green manure crop in your vegie garden – add a few handfuls of peas or soybeans bought from the health food store.

Old and unused chemicals need careful disposal in line with your council’s waste disposal system. Generally, you can take them along to the tip on special chemical collection days that will be advertised regularly. In the mean time, put them in a strong box, label and seal it and put it up on a high shelf.

Plants can be surplus to requirements, too. Consider your trees and shrubs first; are they too big? Do they cast unwanted shade in winter, or drop leaves on the roof? Are the flowers a bit miserable, not at all like the picture on the label when you bought it?

Get rid of it. Life is too short and gardens are too small for you to put up with underperforming plants. The same goes for small perennials or a miserable scruffy lawn. “Be bloody, bold and resolute,” says the apparition to Macbeth in the play – and you should be, too, this new year.


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