Get Your Garden Spring Ready
Throughout the winter we are all itching for even the tiniest glimmer of good weather so that we can get outside and enjoy the longer and warmer days. However, before we can enjoy our gardens to the full there is just enough time to get down and dirty with some basic housekeeping, plan a few new projects and even order a few treats to enjoy in the summer months.
Here are few tips to get your garden sorted, planted and ready for a full-on summer extravaganza.
CLEAN UP and REPAIRS
Winter can be hard on your trees, shrubs and hedges
- Clear up fallen leaves and bag them in a black bin liner. Stab a few holes in the plastic and place them somewhere out of the way. Before you know it you will have some lovely lush leaf mould.
- Clean out your potting shed and wash all pots and trays, in a warm water and disinfectant mix, ready for planting.
- Clean, oil and sharpen your tools ready for use. Throw away or repair broken and rusted tools.
- If you have a greenhouse, make sure you wash shelving and glass thoroughly and then ventilate for a couple of days before loading it up with all those tender seedlings.
- Clean out gutters and check downpipes are not blocked with debris and leaves.
- Give patios and decking a good pressure-wash and re-seal wherever necessary.
- Check fences, gates and trellis for damage. Make all necessary repairs and give a good coat of preservative.
SOIL and SHRUBS
- Clear up twigs and old dead growth from garden beds to allow spring bulbs and plants to flourish.
- Turn over borders and beds where necessary and mix in fresh compost/manure to add some vital nutrients to the soil.
- While you are in amongst your shrubs always check for unwanted bugs. Remove slugs, snails and old aphid nests.
- Prune dead branches and twigs off trees and shrubs and generally tidy up the basic shape.
- Trim hedges into shape now to avoid stepping all over your plants later in the season.
- Now is the perfect time to move any deciduous shrubs whilst they are still dormant. Make sure you take care digging them out, plant back at the same level and water in well to give them the best chance to thrive.
SEEDS and PLANTS
- If you have a greenhouse now is the time to buy and sow your seeds to get them off to a good start.
- Consider a rainy day as the perfect opportunity to sit down with your favourite catalogue and choose your favourite summer-flowering bulbs ready for planting during the next dry spell.
- A day out at the garden centre is a welcome treat too if you have managed to get your garden ready for some new shrubs and perennials.
NEW PROJECTS and PURCHASES
Once you have your basic garden housekeeping sorted and your seeds ordered and sown, you can concentrate on planning new projects.
- Create a composting area
If you don’t already have a composting area now is the time to organise one. Not only will you have somewhere to dispose of vegetable scraps but you will end up with some wonderful rich compost. Ready-made bins are readily available or you could build one using old pallets, mesh wire etc.
- Install water butts
Install water butts in your garden now to collect seasonal rainfall. You will be helping the environment plus rainwater is perfect for watering ericaceous plants such as Rhododendrons, Camellias and Blueberries. There are kits available which make accessing your downpipes relatively simple. Make sure you position the water butts high enough to make it easy to place your watering can or bucket easily under the tap.
- Vegetable Plot
If you have sufficient space and fancy trying your hand at growing your own, now is the perfect time to get cracking. Do some basic research to ensure that you can achieve your goals in terms of bed sizes and crop yield but remember that you can grow many crops in extremely tiny spaces, including planters and hanging baskets. The internet is your best friend if you are looking for ideas which will suit your space, your budget and your aspirations.
Once you have achieved all of this hard work it’s now time to move into the slightly less arduous maintenance level of gardening.
You may of course prefer to hire a professional to take care of your garden on your behalf, leaving you with more time to sit down, relax and enjoy your exterior space when the warmer months arrive!