Spring is slowly approaching. After the long winter months, where there wasn’t a lot to do in the garden apart from muse about all the things you would do in the summer. But the time for getting back to the veg patch is now upon us.
Unlike a few months ago, there are plenty of gardening jobs for you to be cracking on with, especially now that a lot of us have more free time on our hands. So get out those secateurs, don those gardening gloves, and breathe in the fresh air as you make your way through some of the spring jobs below.
Tidy up any weeds
The time has come to evict those pesky weeds which have been roosting among your beloved flower beds. Grab your hoe or other gardening tools and get to work; once you’ve tidied up beds and borders, make sure to mulch generously. By dealing with weeds early you’ll prevent them from becoming a bigger problem later on in the year.
Prune, prune, prune
Sharpen up those secateurs and put them to work. There’s plenty of things to prune now that we’re into spring: prune your roses to encourage more growth for the summer months. Low-hanging branches, shrubs, and perennials could do with a good pruning, but take care not to remove any flowering buds or you might not see more later in the year. Cut away the dead leaves of bulbs, which you can keep in the soil, or lift them for re-planting in autumn if the bulbs have become too cluttered.
Now is the time to get stuck in with planting all that lovely greenery. Any herbs, fruit, veg, or summer-blooming flowers should be planted now to ensure they grow in time for the warmer summer months. If you haven’t already got your seeds and bulbs to hand, companies like Thompson and Morgan can deliver them straight to your door, to save you the trip to the garden centre.
Transplant anything that needs to be moved, as by doing so now you’ll be giving the plants time to re-establish themselves before the heat of summer. Divide any clumping perennials, and transplant any bulbs in the green; these are more likely to take if moved now, as opposed to in the autumn months. Aerate your soil and lawn to improve drainage over the next few weeks.
If any of your plants will need them, your best bet would be to add plant supports now. This will give plants the chance to grow up and through them - trying to add supports afterwards is trickier, and can often leave the plants looking untidy.
After the winter months your soil will be desperate for some extra nutrients to help your plants grow. Feed the soil generously with compost, manure, and mulch. Use a slow-releasing fertiliser in your plant beds and lawn by lightly forking it into the soil.
Over the colder winter months your lawn won’t have needed much care. But as the weather grows warmer, the grass will start to grow again. Give it its first mow of the year on a dry day, to ensure that the grass remains healthy, and to prevent an uncontrollable jungle springing up before summer. You’ll need to mow it regularly during the next few months to keep it nice and healthy. Tidy up the fringes with some pruning shears, and add some lawn edging so as to make future maintenance easier.
If you want to put down a new lawn, now is the time to do so, while there’s still a decent amount of moisture in the air. If you plant turf or sow lawn seed now it will also give a new lawn plenty of time to establish itself before the hotter weather. You can also use any grass clippings or anything from pruning to create more compost for later on in the year.
Just as the greenery is starting to wake up after its wintry sleep, other more unpleasant things are creeping out of the woodwork too. Literally. Those pesky creepy crawlies will cause havoc in your growing garden, so getting the hang of pest control will be key to ensure that your greenery has the chance to flourish.
However mother nature is on your side, and there are plenty of friendly animals and helpful insects who will be all too happy to help sort out your pest situation. Why not install a hedgehog house to encourage the spiky mammal to take up residence in your garden? They will gladly repay you by eating all of those slimy slugs.
Sort your seeds
Got tons of seeds shoved in an old biscuit tin out of the way? Take time to sort them now in order of the months to plant them. By being more organised, you’ll be saving yourself a job later on in the year, and we’re sure you’ll be grateful of the effort come summertime when you can just reach for the next lot of seeds that need planting at the right time.
Have you got any favourite spring gardening jobs that you think we’ve missed? Let us know over on our Facebook page.
Lead image: AlexRaths via Getty Images.