Monday, 06 March 2023
Spring is finally here, so it’s a great time to start planning how your outdoor space will look this summer.
Getting your garden ready for the warmer months ahead will involve some tidying up, soil prep and some planting. Whether you’re a budding Monty Don or a complete novice, we share some useful tips to help you prepare your garden for the year ahead.
Give your lawn a good rake
Over the winter months, your lawn might have become mossy and full of clover. So, aerate the lawn by giving it a good rake to get rid of the moss. Use a wire rake as this will scratch the surface enough to let in more light and water. Give your lawn a good mow but use a low setting, as cutting your grass above 1cm could hinder growth.
Throw some grass seed down to rejuvenate any bare patches, and you’ll find these will grow back faster than you think! If you need some extra tender care, there are plenty of organic soil treatments that will feed your lawn without hurting the local wildlife.
Tidy borders, planters and patios
There will be all sorts of debris in your garden at this time of year, including leaves, twigs and weeds. Use a spade to clear mossy pathways and a small paving tool to slice weeds in between patio slabs. There are some great garden tools available that will help you weed quickly without resorting to chemicals, which will affect your whole garden ecosystem. Weed killers can kill pollinating insects, which you will need if you want flowering plants and veg.
Creeping brambles can suddenly take over areas of your garden so cut and remove. Spot any nasties like ground elder, which can do damage and you may have to use a special treatment to get rid.
Prepare and mulch your soil
Soil preparation is one area often forgotten by novice gardeners and yet it can reap great rewards when done correctly, especially at this time of year. Once you’ve weeded the area, turn the soil over with a garden fork and add an assortment of organic matter. The aim is to make the soil more nutritious to aid growth. You can use home-composted green waste, ready-made garden compost, manure, leaf mould, and composted pieces of bark.
You will then need to add a mulch to keep your soil moist and to help with drainage. This is a layer of coarse material that sits on the surface of the soil, such as bark chippings or shredded woody waste. Adding a mulch around your existing plants will also prevent weeds from growing through.
Start planting your seedlings
If you’re a more experienced gardener, you’ll already have a few seed trays that are springing into life. There are certain plants that can be moved to garden beds around this time, usually after the last frost in March. But it’s not too late to start growing from seeds. Tomatoes can be sown from March to early April, and these should ripen by mid-summer.
If you prefer growing flowers to vegetables, you can still grow from seed but in most cases, you will need to do this inside. At this time of year, you can plant seedlings in your borders, such as cosmia, nigella, petunia, lobelia and marigold. Shrubs like salvia and nicotiana can also be planted, and these will provide you with some colour during the summer months.
Consider your garden furniture
When all the groundwork has been done, you’ll want somewhere comfy to sit and enjoy your garden in the summer. If your current garden furniture is looking a little tatty, tired and faded, you could upgrade to a new set. Think about how the garden will be used, as this will determine whether you need a garden dining set or a garden sofa set.
If you regularly entertain during warmer months or you eat outside, then a dining set for the garden is a practical solution. However, if you tend to sit and chat, scroll your socials or read a book, then a comfy sofa set for the garden might be a more suitable solution.
Although it might feel too soon to start talking about the warmer months, a little preparation now will go a long way later in the year. Getting ahead of the game when it comes to your garden can be the key to having a great summer. Hopefully, we’ve set you on the right track, so you can start preparing your garden for the warmer months ahead.
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