The spring gardening guide
Plants seem to grow in fast-forward during spring. New growth is everywhere. But our gardener’s calendar can help to keep you one step ahead of the action.
Always be prepared
Getting your lawnmower serviced in March will mean you’re ready for action when your lawn suddenly springs into life. Weeds will also be enjoying the same growth spurt as your favoured plants. A thorough weeding in early spring will help you to keep on top of weeds and save pain later down the line. Prepare some summer colour for your garden by planting summer-flowering bulbs and tubers such as gladioli or begonias. Perennials (these are plants that survive for several years) that are looking overcrowded can be gently dug up, divided and replanted. Lifting and dividing perennials in this way increases the spread of colour when they flower and helps them to grow more strongly.
If your lawn is in need of a refresh, March is a good month to lay turf. Bare patches in your lawn can be tackled in April by sowing grass seeds to help fill them in. Spring is also the time to aerate your lawn and remove moss, keeping your lawn healthy. You should also feed your lawn in spring, giving it the energy it needs for good growth and to fight off weeds.
All tied up – taking care of climbers
With any luck, your climbing plants such as roses, clematis and sweet pea, are starting to reach for the stars. Give them a helping hand and protect them from gusty spring weather by putting in stakes and climbing frames. Guide climbers up stakes and frames by gently tying them with garden twine. Fast-growing climbers may need tying weekly.
On the deck
Spring is the ideal time to maintain garden decking and patios, making sure they’re in great shape for summer entertaining. Clean dirty or slippery decking and patios with a pressure-washer or chemical cleaner. Check the weather forecast and try to find a few dry days so that timber decking can dry out after being cleaned. Timber decking should be maintained regularly to keep it looking great and prevent rot. Apply a protective sealant to dry decking. Cooler spring days are ideal. Hot summer days may dry the sealant too quickly, making it hard to work with.
Watch the birdie
Spring is the time to trim newly planted hedges or hedges that are less than two years old. However this is also the time that many garden birds are nesting. Always carefully check hedges for bird nests before trimming. Most birds have finished nesting by the end of July, and summer is the recommended time to trim most types of hedge.
Make a splash
If you own a pond, think about installing a water feature before summer. Pumps and fountains help to oxygenate the water – essential during the summer months when high temperatures and low rainfall can cause problems for fish. So do it now, before your fish start to gasp.