Spring is finally upon us and for some gardeners that can be something that is met with dread rather than joy. But there is no need to simply peel back the curtains and hope that winter has been kind to your garden, instead throw them open and embrace the spring as these tips will get your garden ready in no time.
Remember those tools? Time to take a look
Secateur maintenance. Materials needed – © GAP Photos
This should always be the first step when you get back into the garden after a period of time away from it. However it is often one which is overlooked. By checking your tools and ensuring that blades are sharp, trowels are clean etc. you actually save yourself a lot of extra work by making jobs like cutting easier and reducing the possibility of plant disease spreading via your tools.
Have wood in your garden? Fencing and decking needs your attention
Constructing a circular deck – close up of end of decking – © Clive Nichols/GAP Photos
Wood rots when damp. It is an undeniable fact and there is plenty of wood in the garden. Start with fences and examine posts as well as the panels themselves. If a post has gone rotten over the winter wait for the weather to become dry before replacing it or the same issue will occur.
If you have decking, the same principle applies – check both the boards on top and the framework below. It is often possible to save decking by replacing affected patches rather than worry about the whole lot. Or consider composite decking or fencing which doesn’t rot and will save you the hassle of replacing and recoating.
Don’t forget other wooden items in the garden too such as birdfeeders which should be replaced right away if rotten to ensure birds and animals come returning to your garden soon.
How is your garden doing? Let’s see
Cutting back dead Miscanthus sinensis ‘Zebrinus’ to ground level – © GAP Photos
Next is to check your garden – keeping an eye out for anything amiss. The most common post-winter plant issues are weeds and dead perennials. Deal with the perennials first, weeds afterwards. Any perennials left out over the winter are more than likely to be found dead so. The first plant-based job then is to remove any of the dead ones, including leaves, fallen branches and the like and stick them on the compost heap. It is definitely worthwhile to ‘turnover’ your compost heap to ensure that the well composted mulch on the bottom is used first.
Anything unsightly popping up? Weed out the weeds
Taraxacum officinale – Dandelion seedhead in woodland. Keukenhof, Holland – © Mark Bolton/GAP Photos
After dead plants are cleared and before your lawn is touched now it is time for the weeds. Some people make the mistake of seeing a weed and diving right after it, but post-winter it is wiser to check how bad it is. One or two weeds does not mean a full infestation. So consider how bad things really are before attacking the top soil.
Ready for the final push? Rake and Prune
Man pruning pear tree in late winter – © Robert Mabic/GAP Photos
After taking care of those steps which are often forgotten you can get back to the joys of gardening. Rake the topsoil to add air to it – or add coffee beans for extra nitrogen and also act as a slug deterrent. Prune trees and bushes, transfer any plants you want early on in the season so they have longer to thrive, add stakes to new plants to support…the list does go on but at least you are back to the fun part of gardening after getting everything ready post winter.
So there you have it – tips for getting your garden ready again after the long winter and to ensure that the ground work is prepared for the rest of the year so it can be enjoyed to the full.
Timco Wood is a UK based company which produces environmentally friendly composite wood products that are FSC® certified and fully recyclable. The range includes decking, fencing and cladding to provide durable and sustainable additions to any garden area.
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