20 Feb How To Prepare Your Garden For Spring
Those first signs of spring are something special. As if by magic, snowdrops seem to bloom overnight and daffodil bulbs begin to push their way to the surface.
As our evenings start to get lighter, it’s time to think about preparing your garden for spring. While those warm, blossom-scented days might seem like a long time away, there are plenty of things you can do now to get your garden ready for the growing season. With the right plans in place, you’ll be able to enjoy your garden throughout the summer months.
Getting ready for the warmer weather doesn’t have to be difficult or complicated. To help you prepare your garden for spring, we’ve put together our top spring gardening tips below.
Clear your garden of leaves and weeds
During the winter, many of us leave our outdoor spaces untended. After all, no one likes to spend a cold, rainy afternoon tidying up the garden! However, as spring approaches, it is important to take the time to clear away any debris. Dead leaves, weeds and twigs will get in the way of new growth and may impact your success when the warmer months approach.
You can put leaves and other debris on your compost heap to breakdown. If you remove any weeds, remember to put these in your brown bin. These hardy plants will take any opportunity to germinate if placed on your compost heap, causing more problems when spring arrives.
As well as clearing out your flower beds and planting areas, it might be a good idea to tend to the rest of your outdoor space too. If your patio has collected debris, take the time to sweep up now. It’ll be one less job on your to-do list when the weather gets warm.
Prune trees and shrubs
Many of us prune our perennial plants in autumn, but it’s not too late to cut back now. Many shrubs, trees and plants are still dormant, giving you time to trim before the spring comes. Shrubs that have finished flowering, hedges, deciduous trees and grasses all benefit from a winter prune. Just be sure to cut back in the right way to promote growth when you prepare your garden for spring.
If you want to move plants around your garden, this is an excellent time to tackle that task too. Do your best to take as much of the root as possible to ensure good growth in your shrub’s new location. Don’t forget to water your plant well after moving to keep it healthy.
Like we mentioned above, late winter is an ideal time to cut back deciduous grasses. However, you might want to leave these in your garden until the springtime to ensure wildlife has shelter during the sparse winter months.
Remove unwanted pests
Pests are a problem in every garden. The good news is that there is plenty you can do to reduce pests attacking your plants during the warmer months. Many pests hibernate during the winter, making it a prime time to destroy their habitats before they become a nuisance.
To prepare your garden for spring, we suggest taking a close look at your plants for any signs of pest infestation. Aphids, slugs, snails and larvae can all shelter in your garden, so it will be important to remove them before spring arrives. You can buy (or make) specialist winter washes, which are designed to destroy any wintering pests.
If a cold spell is on the horizon, you may want to turn over your plant beds to expose pests to frost. It could be worth doing this anyway, as birds will appreciate the extra snack during the sparse winter months!
Prepare your soil
While we might not be enjoying the warm weather yet, temperatures are beginning to heat up. That should mean your soil is workable, giving you the perfect opportunity to dig in some organic matter. Doing this will help to make sure your beds and planters have the right nutrients when the time comes to plant.
If you have spring bulbs or other perennial plants, adding some nutrient-rich compost or manure will give them a kick start before the growing season.
Scrub your greenhouse
If you’re wondering how to prepare your garden for spring, it’s worth remembering that it’s not all about your plants and soil. Garden structures need attention too, and doing regular maintenance can even help your new plants thrive.
For example, if you have a greenhouse in your outdoor space, it’s a good idea to use the quiet winter months to spruce them up.
To prepare for spring, wash your greenhouse both inside and out using a garden-approved disinfectant and be sure to get into all the nooks and crannies. It’s a good idea to sweep out any debris and clean your seedling pots or trays to ensure they’re ready for young plants too.
Don’t forget to give your greenhouse plenty of time to dry (it’s usually best to leave the doors open for this). Once thoroughly cleaned, inspect your structure for any damage and undertake maintenance if you need to.
A clean greenhouse will give your new plants the best environment to grow, so it really is worth taking the time to clean yours properly.
Get maintenance jobs done
Your greenhouse isn’t the only structure in your garden that deserves attention. At the height of spring and summer, taking care of maintenance jobs often falls to the bottom of the list. That’s why winter is an excellent time to tick off those niggly tasks.
When preparing your garden for spring, check your fence panels, trellises and gates for damage and repair if you need to. Give all of the above a good wash (with a power washer if you have one). Once they’re fully dry, take the time to apply wood stain, paint or preservative. Don’t forget to choose a few dry days to do this; rainy or windy weather could undo all your hard work.
Set up new planters
Whether you have a small outdoor space or just prefer to garden in planters, winter is a great time to get your new pots ready for the warmer months. To prepare for spring, remove any dead matter from last year and clear all your planters back to bare soil.
It’s also worth taking the time to check for any damaged pots and replace them as you need to. If you want to invest in more pots and planters, head over to your garden centre to add to your collection. Winter is a great time to construct any new purchases, particularly those that need time to put together.
Prepare your garden beds
As well as your pots and planters, it’s important to take good care of your garden beds before spring arrives. This will give your plants the best conditions to thrive within, making sure you are as successful as possible.
Like with your planters, take your beds and borders back to bare soil (unless you have perennial plants in there, of course). Dig in organic matter and be sure that all weeds are taken care of. Now is an excellent time to experiment with your garden design too. Whether you want to add in raised beds or create a new border, you’ll find it easier to prepare your garden for spring now.
Create a planting plan
Preparing for spring doesn’t have to be all work and no fun! Creating a planting plan is an enjoyable way to look forward to the warmer months and helps you know what you need to plant when. By doing this, you can make sure your garden is full of colour and interest throughout the summer months. If you enjoy growing fruit and vegetables, it will give your produce the optimum time for growth too.
It is also an opportunity to get creative with your garden. We suggest drawing out what plants you want to put where and colour them in accordingly. That way, you can be sure that your colour combinations work together.
Start some seedlings
Preparing your garden for spring isn’t all about the prep phase. There are some seedlings you can start now to get ready for spring blossoming. Of course, most of these will need to be started in a heated propagator, greenhouse or indoors. However, what could be more exciting than seeing the first signs of growth when it’s still cold outside?
We suggest starting seeds like lobelia, snapdragons, sweetpeas, chrysanthemums and geraniums indoors. For fruit and veg, you could start cucumbers, tomatoes, peas, brassicas, asparagus and sweet peppers from seeds. Don’t forget that your seeds will need warmth and shelter to grow – inside a greenhouse or on your windowsill is best.
Get ready to enjoy your garden
Preparing your garden for spring is a sign of plentiful things to come. Whether you’re green-fingered or a novice in the garden, there are a variety of things you can do to make sure your outdoor space looks its best during the warmer months.
We hope our spring gardening tips have been helpful. For more gardening tips and advice, visit the Coleshill mowing blog.