The sun is shining (finally), in trying to make the most of this spring weather, chances are you’ve headed out to the garden, perhaps for the first time in a long while. Whilst the sun makes everything look better, it does highlight the work needed to bring a garden back into touch for the summer season.
We’ve put together 8 steps you could take during these spring months, to get your garden ready to enjoy.
The obvious place to start, as the colder and rainy weather is likely to have done some damage to your plants and furniture. Take the time to clear debris, carry out the fun task of weeding, wash down patios and furniture and take the time to fix any broken fencing or gates. It’s going to require a bit of hard work, but will ultimately be worth it. When you’re clearing away plant debris, you’ve got the perfect opportunity to start a compost bin, which will make for great fertiliser down the line.
Green, green grass
Talking of fertiliser, now is the perfect time to boost your lawn, in mid-spring (often late March to April), use a proprietary spring or summer lawn fertiliser at the manufacturer’s recommended rates. Feeding the lawn will increase vigour and help prevent weeds and moss from establishing. Apply fertilisers when the soil is moist, or when rain is expected.
Check for pests
In doing all this hard work, it would be a huge disappointment if a few months down the line, you found your plants suffering with pests. Take some time to check around the garden, looking out for likely signs of pests. If your plants are deteriorating, you can figure out what’s affecting them and find an ideal solution to get rid before any further damage. The BBC website has a great index for checking the plant against the likely pest, click here.
Tend to the beds
During this maintenance, it’s a good idea to add some air back into the soil of any beds you’re looking to plant in. The purpose of this process is to mix organic matter into your soil, help control weeds, break up crusted soil, or loosen up a small area for planting. You do not need break up the soil very deep; less than 12 inches is better and will be best done as soon as possible, before the warmer weather really kicks in, to avoid moisture loss.
Different plants obviously benefit from different climates, so whilst you may have already begun planting, now is a great time to move and re-plant for a different landscape. It is best to move plants when not in flower, it’s also important to dig deep, keeping as much of the root structure as possible. If you’re looking for some new flowers to plant, spring is the season for lilies and gladiolus.
Along with damage to the garden, you may spot a few issues with plants and now is the time to prune to ensure re-growth and maintaining a healthy garden, however if you’re unsure of what to cut back and when, it’s worth looking for some top tips, the Royal Horticultural Society offers some monthly advice here.
Rainwater butts offer far more benefits than just money saving on bills, particularly facilitating garden care during drier months, especially during a hosepipe ban. There are further benefits, as rainwater has no minerals or chemicals added, so it is ultimately ‘kinder’ to plants than tap water. It is a simple process to install one, we’ve found a step-by-step process here. If you already have a water butt, now is the time to clear out any debris or mould that might have come about over the winter.
Lick of paint
Now that your plants are in place and everything is clean and new, you could consider adding a fresh coat of paint to furniture or fencing. If your furniture really has weathered over the winter, it might be worth going in a complete change of direction, and luckily, bright coloured furniture is on trend this summer.