If you’re new to gardening or haven’t had time to look after yours properly before, then spring is the perfect time to start getting it into shape. With a bit of tidying, preparation, and planting you’ll be able to have a garden full of beautiful blooms when the summer comes around.
Read on for our gardening for beginners tips on how to get started this spring.
Tidy up the flower beds
If your garden has been a bit neglected over the winter, you should start off by spending some time tidying up the flower beds. Clear out fallen leaves and dead plants, and just leave behind any perennials (plants that come back each summer).
If you’re unsure whether some of the plants are dead or not, a quick way to tell is to look at the stems. If they’re pliable and bend without snapping then the plant is still alive, but if they’re brittle and brown then it’s time to get rid of them. Pull out any weeds or clumps of grass that have made their way into the flower beds as well.
You should also tidy up and empty out plant pots, containers, and hanging baskets now.
Refresh your grass
Lawn looking a bit brown and bare? Start prepping it now so that it’s green and healthy for the summer. After all, you want a luscious green lawn to sunbathe on when the sun finally comes out.
Give it a quick tidy up to get rid of any leaves and pull any dandelions and other weeds too. Then you can start reseeding the bare patches so that it has a chance to grow before you want to mow it regularly.
Improve the soil
Once you’ve cleared away the debris, you should spend some time improving your soil.
Plants need soil that drains well and is full of the right nutrients to grow properly. This is really easy to do by following these steps:
- Use a spade to dig into the soil and break up any solid clumps
- Add around 5cm of bagged compost evenly across the flower beds (if you have a compost heap then you can use this instead)
- Dig through the soil again to mix in the new compost and then flatten out the top
- Use a rake to smooth over the soil and remove any stones or clumps so that you have an even surface to work with.
Following these simple tips will really help to improve the health of your soil no end.
Start a compost pile
If you don’t already have one and want to live in a more eco-friendly way, then set yourself up with a compost heap or invest in a compost bin.
This is a great way to reuse all the dead plants and debris that you’re clearing away. There are a few different approaches to composting, but whichever you choose, this time next year you should have your own supply of compost ready to put back in the garden.
For most spring flowers, like daffodils, hyacinths, and bluebells you’ll need to have planted the bulbs in the autumn. However, if you missed this then you’ll find plenty of spring-flowering plants at the garden centre.
There’s still plenty of time to think about any plants, flowers, or vegetables that you want to grow from seeds. If you’ve got space indoors or a greenhouse then many seeds can be planted from late February and early March. If you’re planting directly outside then you’ll probably need to start in late March, April, once there’s less risk of a frost.
Do some pruning
For many shrubs and trees, spring is the best time to give them a prune and get them back into shape. You can cut back any damaged or overhanging branches, as well as bits that are looking dead. It’s also a good time of year to trim up evergreens after their initial new growth has emerged.
A few things that you shouldn’t prune in the spring are azaleas and lilac — generally speaking, anything that is going to flower early in the year or blooms on old branches should be left alone in the spring.
Move your perennials
If you’ve got any plants in the flowerbed or pots that have outgrown their space or you want to move, then now is the time to do it.
You can easily divide and transplant your perennials plants in spring when they’re dormant without causing too much damage or stress to the plants. Then by the summer, they’ll be in full bloom in their new positions.
Gardening is a great activity to get you outdoors and can really do a lot to boost your mental and physical health. Follow these tips and you’ll be able to get your garden tidied up and ready for the summer in no time.