Now that the clocks have changed and there’s more daylight it’s time to turn your attention to the garden, and with the Easter holidays coming up what better time to wake up the garden in preparation for the warm days of summer.
Freshening up your outdoor space doesn’t have to break the bank, so try these simple tips for giving your garden a little spring-time TLC.
Trim that lawn
Provided there is at least 2 inches (5cm) of growth on the grass then feel free to fire up the mover. Don’t go too short with the first cut because you don’t want to stunt the grass with any further frosts. Make sure your mower blade is sharp to avoid damaging the grass unnecessarily. At this time of year, it’s best to cut the grass in the afternoon when it’s had time to dry out a bit from the morning dew.
Don’t forget to neaten the edges with a spade, strimmer or long handled shears.
If you do find that your lawn is suffering with a touch of grass-based alopecia then pop to your local DIY store or larger supermarkets for some grass seed. Once sown, You will see a difference in a matter of days, but just remember not to cut the re-seeded patches, with the mower, until they are well established; garden scissors or shears will do the trick in the meantime.
Prune your plants
You know what it’s been like in Lockdown, not being able to go to the hairdressers, well your plants are feeling much the same way! Of course, there are the correct ways of pruning shrubs – if only I was listening when my granddad was telling me – which Gardner Google should be able to help you out with. However, the general rule is that by pruning summer-flowering plants in early to mid-spring will allow for new growth and flowers in summer.
Don’t forget we can still get ground frosts up until the early part of May in the UK, so be mindful when pruning and don’t go snip-happy bonkers with those secateurs.
Herb your enthusiasm
There’s nothing like a splash of colour in the garden before the summer plants give up the goods, and this can be achieved simply by planting up some colourful containers. You’re not too late to pop to your local garden centre or DIY store and grab some spring flowering plants like primroses and pansies to create and attention-grabbing display. However, if you want the colour of the pots but fancy something a little more practical and more importantly edible, why not pot-up some herbs!
Now my hack for herbs isn’t growing the from scratch; oh no no no. I buy mine from the potted herb section in the supermarket! This is a perfect solution; someone has already done the hard work and all you have to do is plant them out. They range in price from 79p to £1.50 and you can get all your favourites. A word of warning though, you do have to make sure that they’re kept sheltered until the pesky final frosts of the year have passed!
Remove dead leaves
This is a quick, cheap way to make your garden look 100 times tidier. After a long winter your garden or court yard will no doubt be covered in last year’s deposit of leaves. Just be mindful of any wildlife using the leaves as their home; you never know you might bump into a toad or a hedgehog, both of which are partial to a bit of leaf litter! If you do happen across some wildlife, just leave them as close to where you found them as you can and let them find their next home, rather than you playing real estate agent on their behalf.
Along with removing the dead leaves, spring is the perfect time to weed your flower borders, before they become inaccessible with floweringGr plants and shrubs. Gardening hack? Weed when it’s wet, because the damp soil will relinquish the weeds much more easily, even those with the tap roots like dandelions!
Bath your bird bath
If you have been feeding the birds over the winter months and providing them with a bird bath for drinking and bathing, now is the time to clean them up. Remove any moss from the bird bath before cleaning it.
You can disinfect bird baths and feeders with some VERY weak bleach solution. Rinse them thoroughly, and, if you can, leave them to air dry – otherwise dry them off – before restocking with seeds and water.
A midspringtime light’s dream
One of the best and most impactful ways to make your garden pop is by investing in some solar powered lighting. There are so many types on the market these days, you are actually spoilt for choice. Almost every garden centre, DIY store and supermarkets sell them, as does the online super emporium Amazon!
Here are some of the solar powered lights in my garden.
As a caveat to all of this; I will say that I don’t consider myself a gardener and I’m a late starter when it does come to gardening. What really got me loving my little patch on planet earth was Lockdown 1.0, when the weather was wonderful and there was little else to do. Plus the only shops open initially were supermarkets which cashed in on selling compost, bedding pants, veg seedlings and all things garden-related.