With spring just around the corner, now is the time to start preparing your garden for the warmer months. Winter can take its toll on your garden and leave it looking miserable, so take the following steps to say goodbye to winter and usher in a much balmier time of the year. By preparing your garden early, it will allow you to maximise both the time your garden has to reach its full summer glory and the time you have to enjoy it.
Trim Back Branches and Hedges
The first step to preparing your garden for spring involves trimming back any trees & shrubs that you have and tidying the hedges. By trimming back and tidying, it can make the backyard much more attractive and also let in plenty more sunshine. Cut out dead branches so your plants do not get diseased, new growth will quickly fill any bare areas. Cutting back most plants will actually stimulate more vigorous growth and a higher proportion of flowers and fruits to develop. You will want to invest in quality tools for this to make this job fast and safe. Blunt blades increase the risk of slippage and injury. If you have large trees and shrubs or a large garden investing in a quality chainsaw will save time. It will also be essential if you have trees to remove. However make sure you buy from a reputable company (like SGS) to ensure that the tool is safe to use.
Next, you will want to clean up the garden of debris from your cutting back and anything leftover from winter like leaves, dead stems and flower heads. This garden litter make your lawn and flower beds look less appealing, so get the leaf blower out and remove these items from the area or rake them up. This mulch can clog up a lawn blocking light and air leaving patches so you really have to remove it from grassy areas. However rotting garden waste provides valuable nutrients and moisture retaining compounds so it is actually a good idea to spread a little over your flower beds and underneath trees as it will act as a natural fertiliser. Excess waste can be composted or burnt.
Soil and Lawn Care
Prepare your soil for planting by turning it over with a pitchfork and then raking the area, whilst also getting rid of any weeds. Add compost on top to add nutrients – within a few weeks you will be ready to begin planting. You will also want to care for the lawn by mowing it to a healthy length and getting rid of weeds. Compacted thin lawns should be aerated with a fork, fed and reseeded. If you want to turf a new area or re-turf patchy lawn read our new turf article.
Your perimeter fence and garden gate will look drab after months of harsh weather, so rejuvenate them with a fresh coat of paint. The tidiest garden will still look uncared for with a shabby fence. Also a lack of proper coatings and sealants can greatly reduce the life of fencing so it makes sense to spend a little on a treatment or paint rather than regularly replace fence panels.
Finally, you will want to get your garden furniture out of the shed and give it a thorough cleaning. You can then set up an area for socialising or relaxing and add any decorative touches to add personality and character.
With these steps, your garden will be fully prepared for spring. You can begin growing your own plants, inviting friends over for a BBQ or simply relaxing in the sun with a good book.