Simple gardening jobs to prepare your garden for spring: expert tips from reviving lawns to composting
Spring is just around the corner, and while the UK has still been experiencing snow and storms in recent weeks, it will soon be time to get back out in the garden once again.
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But how can you prepare your garden for spring, and what jobs should you focus on now to ensure your garden is in full bloom by the time the warmer weather arrives?
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John Dempsey, gardening expert at Housetastic, advises that the end of February and early March are a good time to start preparing your garden, but warns to check the weather forecast beforehand as starting too early can also have a negative impact.
“Starting on your garden too early can damage the soil structure, which can result in an inhospitable environment for plant roots and seedlings,” he said. “Wait until frost has lifted and loosen up compacted soil before preparing garden beds.”
The five simple gardening jobs you can do now before spring:
Tidy the garden
Cleaning and tidying your garden should be the first step in preparing ahead of the new season, so take time to clear away any debris left over from winter.
“Remove weeds, dead plants and flower debris from flower beds, as ideally, you want to begin the new season with a clear garden bed,” John recommends, adding that you should “ensure weeds are completely removed from the soil, by the roots and eliminating the chance of them re-sprouting further down the line.”
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Tidying the garden should be the first job you do
Tend to existing plants before planting new bulbs
Before planting new bulbs and seeds, focus on what is already present in your garden. “Between late winter and early spring is the ideal time to prune back old wood on trees and certain shrubs which blood on new wood,” he advises. “In addition, trim any broken or dead branches off trees and shrubs to help keep the plants healthy.”
Tend to existing flowers before planting any more
It may feel too early to start mowing your lawn, however, it can be an optimal time to start tending to grass and re-seeding any winter-damaged areas if you are careful and assess the soil temperature beforehand. The optimum spring temperature for soil and lawns is around 13-18 degrees Celsius.
John suggests: “While the air may feel warm, the soil can take a bit longer to warm up from winter. There are specialised soil thermometers which can be purchased from garden centres, however, a simple household thermometer will also provide adequate readings.”
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If you don’t already use compost in your garden, then this should become a priority for your garden in 2022 as it has huge benefits in making the soil more fertile and efficient. John suggests: “Using a bin can be preferable, as it keeps the compost in one place and can be repositioned to best suit the garden it is in. Bins also retain more warmth and moisture, making better compost faster than an open heap.”
Start your vegetable patch
Sowing seeds indoors can give your vegetable patch a head start
It may seem too early and cold to start planting vegetables, but there are a few vegetables that will not only survive but thrive with early planting. “You should sow seeds indoors, ideally placed on a warm windowsill. The plants can then be transferred outside once the weather properly warms up in mid-spring. Plants such as tomatoes and even potatoes are ideal for starting indoors,” the garden expert says.
More hardy vegetables such as onion and garlic can be sown outside straight away in optimal conditions. Choose an area which is warm and sunny, with free-draining soil and is ideally sheltered from strong winds.
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