The prospect of tackling an unruly garden this time of year fills most of us with dread – but taking time in early spring (which is thankfully just around the corner) to clear and prepare your outside space is key to ensure you reap the benefits come summer.
Fix the fence
That rickety old fence you’ve been putting off replacing isn’t going to add kerb appeal to your property, so get it sorted. Fixing broken structures is best done earlier in the year so you have more time to enjoy the garden in the warmer months. Trellis and gateposts also require maintenance over the years due to wear and tear so fix or replace if necessary – annoying little jobs like these are best to get it out the way early. If you enjoy DIY, make a weekend of it and enjoy the outdoors.
Clean your tools
Speaking of annoying little jobs – cleaning your tools can feel like a laborious task but well-cared for tools will live longer therefore saving you money in the long run. Sharpened secateurs and shears will improve their performance, making light work of pruning and cutting back. If you own a greenhouse, now is the perfect time to give it a deep clean.
Create a compost area
Food waste collected in your little green bin can be made into nutrient-rich compost for your garden – a far more eco-friendly solution to being collected once a week! Get started early before the summer and choose an inconspicuous patch of garden to make your compost area. Ensure you collect a good mix of cut grass and vegetable peel among other organic household waste for your compost and give it a good mix with a fork occasionally to keep it aerated.
Clear your lawn and flowerbeds
Put on your gloves and clear away rotten leaves and debris – pull up weeds and cut back old dead growth. Pruning in early spring will encourage growth and keep your garden under control. Treat the soil to some well-rotted manure or homemade compost, the ground will thank you for it and repay you with luscious foliage and a colourful display in the summer.
Edge your boarder
After time, an unloved boarder can look messy and unkempt. Use a half-moon edger (a necessity for any gardener) to ensure a sharp edge is cut. This adds drainage and prevents weed seedlings from germinating where the lawn meets the soil – it makes your garden look very neat and well maintained too. A length of string held taut between two sticks can be your guide for a straight edge, or a hose pipe can help you create a perfect sweeping curve.
Summer flowering bulbs and seeds can be planted and sowed from late February, or when the soil gets slightly warmer. Sweet Pea, Poppy and Cornflower are very popular choices to start in early spring. Germinate seeds in a seed tray placed on a warm windowsill or greenhouse before transferring to outdoor soil later in the spring. Allium, Lily and Freesia bulbs can be planted from early March, just ensure you leave enough space between the bulbs when planting if you plan to cut the flowers later in the summer.
Have we inspired you dust off your gardening gloves and get outdoors this weekend?