Spring has officially arrived, but is your garden prepared? Is it ready for the increasingly warmer weather? Is it filled with plants ready to sprout for the summer? Perhaps you weren't sure how to get everything ready. Not to worry. There's still a little time to get your garden in order. This article will take a look at how to take your garden out of winter hibernation and prepare it for spring.
Let's begin by removing all the preparations you made for winter. If you have a net across your pond then take it off. There's no risk of it freezing over now (unless you stay much further north), and the leaves have stopped falling from the trees, meaning you won't be left with a pool of sludgy mess.
If you have protective mesh, wiring, or supportive stakes, around trees and plants, which could have been damaged by harsh winter conditions, now is the time to remove these. Of course, you might live somewhere with naturally wet and wild weather (many would argue the whole of Scotland!) or just feel that a plant requires the extra safety. If that's the case then don't remove the stabilisers. Ã?Â
The next step is making sure that all of your garden tools and equipment are in working order. And I mean literally everything: lawnmowers, hedgetrimmers, chainsaws, strimmers even shovels and rakes. This could be done by testing them out yourself or having them professionally serviced (Fraser C. Robb offers servicing on all brands of garden machinery).
It's best to discover something isn't working now as opposed to when you need it most. And if something isn't working? Replace it immediately! Working with faulty tools is incredibly dangerous. Invest in a high quality garden tool or machine that will last for the next few years. In the long run it's a purchase you won't regret.
Next you should begin buying summer bulbs and plants. Early spring is the best time to plant most summer flowering bulbs (although some are better done in autumn, such as the allium) so don't delay in ordering.
Check out this previous article which looks at how to plant summer bulbs. It will guide you through the simple-to-follow process which will result in the most beautiful and vibrant garden:
Not sure which bulbs to buy? Here are a few bulbs which can be planted during spring to liven up your summer display:
You've got all the tools ready, the plants bought and the garden has room to breathe. This is where the hard work begins, along with some of the most dreaded gardening jobs.
Start by giving the grass its first cut of the year. With the warmer weather it's going to begin growing soon. Cutting it now will give you the upper hand and enable you to stay on top. Also, there's nothing quite as beautiful as the smell of freshly cut grass (unless you have hay-fever) and the look of a freshly mowed lawn. If you really want to go all out, get a lawnmower with a striped finish.
Once the main area of grass is cut, it's time to worry about the edges. It's a nightmare mowing to the edge of the path, or working around washing poles and sheds. Inevitably you'll always be left with stragglers, which can make a freshly mowed lawn appear untamed. So how do you get rid of those? Easy! Strim everywhere the lawnmower can't reach. Long patches of weeds? Strim! Nettles? Strim! You get the idea. A strimmer is an invaluable tool and will make your garden fresh for the spring.
Another grass-machine worth consideration is a scarifier. This can be the final step towards giving your lawn the ultimate finish. A scarifier removes all the moss and dead plants hiding between the blades of your lawn. It guarantees the freshest, crispest look possible.
Once the lawn is finished, move onto bushes, hedges and perennial plants. Trim away any dead growth or overgrown areas (although chances of being overgrown during the winter months are slim). Also be sure to remove any disease or pest ridden parts. It's best to have done this before winter but it if you haven't then now is the perfect opportunity. Especially concentrate on getting hedges cut back so that they look new and clean for the spring.
If your garden still has one foot in winter with enough cold and frost, some perennial plants will still be hibernating. This is your only opportunity to move them around the garden. If you decide to move a plant, be sure to do so carefully, paying particular attention to preserving the roots. If these are damaged in the process then you might lose the perennial completely.
Weeding is a chore nobody enjoys but it is one you should do before spring arrives. In spring weeds will thrive, so pulling them out now (making sure to remove the root) will slow down their growth.
For all of your cuttings and garden waste you should begin forming a compost pile, whether that's in a bin or a homemade compost heap. This invaluable organic material will be exactly the boost your garden will thank you for. Remember; never put diseased plant parts in the compost!
The final step is to cultivate soil. This is the process of breaking up the soil so that, when the time comes, it can take in more nutrients. It is also a good way to cover hard-to-remove weeds, and a perfect opportunity for adding a fertiliser to the soil. Healthy, well tailored soil will result in healthy plants. Cultivation is easy. Literally break the soil apart using a hoe or shovel. If you have a larger patch of soil needing cultivated, or just cannot bear the thought of back-breaking labour, invest in a rotavator to make the process less laborious.
Follow all of these steps and your garden will be ready to tackle spring. It's all about making sure your tools are ready for the job, and making everything look neat and tidy before the growing begins.
And, before we know it, summer will be hereÃ¢â?¬Â¦
By Dylan Blyth.
We sell and service all types of Agricultural and Horticultural Machinery, from lawnmowers for small gardens to tractors. We are approved dealers for many brands including Stihl, Toro, Hayter, Mountfield, Cub Cadet, Stiga, Iseki, Yamaha, Kawasaki, Scag, Jenz, Major
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