Now that spring is finally here, it is time to get back in the garden and make the most of the warmer weather while it lasts. Although it’s certainly true that temperatures can change rapidly, now that May has begun we can be reasonably sure that there will be no more ground frosts, which gives us plenty more scope for things to do in the garden in readiness for summer. Whether your main interest is in garden plants and flowers, vegetable gardening or designing a garden of your own, there are some essential activities you can be getting on with now that the days are longer. Here is a quick guide in answer to some the most common gardening questions that arise at this time of year.
Get your garden ready for the warmer weather
Preparation is the key to a successful garden and, if you haven’t already done these things, now is the time to get ready for summer. Start by giving your garden a thorough tidy up. This means getting rid of all the young weeds that will have started to come through and making sure that paths, paved areas and patios are clean of lichen and moss as well as weeds. Water which has had some salt added to it is better than weed killer for both pets and the environment. Another clean up job that it is good to do before the gardening begins in earnest is to make sure that your shed, greenhouse and tools are all clean and in perfect working order. Sweep out your shed or greenhouse of any cobwebs and leaves, and give all of your tools a thorough wipe and maintenance check.
During the colder months the roots of many plants can be lifted above the ground – this is caused by the frost swelling the earth and pushing roots upwards. Now is the time to pack them down and make sure they are properly covered by soil. If you are planning to plant any trees or shrubs in your garden this year, it’s a good idea to do so fairly early in the warmer seasons. This will give them plenty of time to establish themselves in more hospitable soil, before the weather cools again and the frost returns.
Prepare lawns and seedbeds
Spring is also a good time to start thinking about your lawn. As soon as the weather warms the grass will begin to grow, and it is a good idea to get in there early and give your lawn a regular mow. Also, don’t forget to make sure that the lawn is weeded and fed. Another important step is to make use of any detritus left over from the winter months. Add any weeds you pick up to your compost bin if you have one. Plus, you can use any fallen leaves in your garden to make a great lawn conditioner. Put the gathered leaves with a small amount of water into bin bags to create a leaf mould.
The next step is to prepare your seedbeds and to make sure that your gardening soil is nicely fertilised and ready for sowing. Don’t forget to make sure that any old crops are removed and then you begin sowing the plants and vegetable crops that you will be growing this year.
Image Courtesy: rwnaf.org, sheds.co.uk, chewvalleytrees.co.uk