How to wake up your garden this spring
From sprucing up tools to dealing with pesky pests, green fingered Brits have been advised on the gardening tasks they should undertake now to get their gardens ready for spring.
Outdoors experts from BillyOh.com have revealed their best tips and tricks to help gardeners make the most of their outdoor spaces now that winter is over.
From pruning and preparing the beds to pest management, the prudent advice should have gardens blooming in no time.
A spokesman for BillyOh.com said: “Some gardening tasks simply can’t be left until the height of spring if you want to make the most of your outdoor space this year.
“Whether you’re experienced, keen or just starting out, all gardeners should get their plots ready for the warmer months as soon as possible, so we’ve revealed our nine top tips to help get gardens in full bloom.”
1. Plan planting.
Sit down with a pen and paper to organise what you want to achieve in the garden over the coming warmer months.
Once you’ve identified the species perfect for your garden this year, order them as soon as possible – it’s no good getting your hands on summer-flowering bulbs and seeds when they’ve no longer got the time to grow.
2. Collect rainwater.
To save money on bills and be extra environmentally friendly, install a garden water butt that will gather rain from any passing showers.
It’s ideal for filling up watering cans and could also protect UK gardeners against a potential hosepipe ban once the weather hots up.
3. Spruce up garden tools.
Your tools will likely need some TLC after months of non-use and hiding in the garden shed or basement.
Shears and hand pruners may have accumulated dirt that, if left unwashed, could infect your newly-pruned plants.
Almost all tools are easier to work with when cleaned and sharpened, so take the time to hone those spades, trowels and hoes with a file and apply lubricating oil.
4. Tidy the backyard.
Spend some time doing some general cleaning and tidying jobs by removing leaves and debris from your lawn, taking note of areas that need reseeding.
If you have perennials from last year, cut down foliage and reserve it for your compost bin, then divide clumped perennials for later replanting or sharing with friends.
You can also start fixing fences, gates and trellis so you’ll have more time focusing on your plants after tidying up.
5. Deal with pesky pests.
Slugs, snails, aphids and larvae may have been sheltering in the crowns or under the leaves of your plants for the winter, so go after these hibernating pests before putting in new plants.
There’s a slew of pest control materials and methods to choose from but it’s best to start with more natural means like home-made remedies or beneficial insects that will prey on the harmful ones.
6. Trim shrubs and trees.
If you haven’t got around to pruning your trees during the colder months, now is the best time to do so.
Remove damaged, dead and diseased branches, but take note whether a certain plant is best pruned before spring growth or right after flowering – pruning fruit trees is best done as early as possible in spring.
Also take time to thin dead foliage now before new growth begins and thinning becomes too difficult.
7. Prepare the beds.
It’s a lot easier to pull out weeds now so go through it and rake the mulch that remained on the bed over the winter.
Make sure lawn borders are nice and crisp too by taking a spade around the edges and getting rid of any rubbish before you start planting.
8. Revive the soil.
How will you know if your soil is ready for gardening since winter weather takes a hard toll on the garden?
An easy guide is to grab a handful of soil, squeeze it tightly, then open your fist. The soil should crumble instead of forming clumps.
Take a soil test for pH level if necessary and enrich accordingly – add dolomitic lime to raise pH or sulphur to lower pH.
Add in some compost or well-rotted manure too, using a digging fork to mix in everything perfectly well.
9. Create a compost heap.
If you don’t already have your own compost heap at home, now is the time to start your own on-demand supply of organic fertiliser.
Easily available home-made compost means that plants can get the nutritious boost they need at essentially no cost and in seconds, at any point during the flowering season.