Aside from being a great hobby, gardening teaches you a lot of things like patience, discipline, and responsibility. After all, you need to be committed to working in your garden all throughout the year. But don’t worry because it shouldn’t take too much of your time provided that you plan accordingly.
Besides, all your effort and hard work will have been worth it once you see the fruits of your labour. As a gardener, you need to understand that what you do in your garden this season will significantly affect what your garden will look like in the next.
What this means is that your winter garden jobs will affect how easy your spring preparations are going to be. Spring is also crucial because this is when you prepare your garden for the growing season. Get it right, and your garden is sure to have one of the best summers ever!
So, here are 6 must-do jobs for your spring garden:
Clean up your garden
This is the first task to be done as soon as spring sets in or the conditions outside allow you to. Remove any dead annual plants that remained over winter. You can also throw them in your compost heap if you have one. Just take care not to add any diseased plants to your compost.
Tidy up any leaves, twigs, or other debris that found their way into your garden. Be careful with weeds though. You don’t want them to be included in your compost heap or else they’ll just grow back.
If you have a greenhouse, this is also the perfect time to go through the whole place. Check for cracks and places that need to be repaired or cleaned. If needed, disinfect the area to clear it of any lingering diseases before the spring season begins. You want this place to be a safe and ideal home for your future plants.
Revitalise your lawn
During the winter, your lawn went through harsh conditions such as extreme cold, excessive moss and lots of snow. Because of this, nutrients are lost in the soil which will make new growth a challenge. Two things that you need to do to revitalise your lawn are scarifying and aerating.
Scarification is the process of raking your lawn to remove the thatch and moss that has gathered deep down on the soil during winter. Aeration, on the other hand, is simply creating holes in the soil in order to introduce oxygen and water to it.
Both of these are required to help your lawn become an ideal place for plants and grass to grow again. Admittedly, it will require a lot of time and effort on your end to accomplish these. If you think you’re not up to the challenge of lawn care, you may want to consider installing artificial grass instead.
This synthetic version can withstand any kind of weather, and doesn’t need aerating and scarifying. You’d still need to do some work on your synthetic turf, but mainly, it’s just dirt and debris removal. Artificial grass doesn’t need mowing either!
There is still a lot of arguments for real Vs fake but if the upkeep of a real lawn is too much for you to keep up with, it could be a good time-saving option. When we lived in a small, estate house, we had an artificial lawn as the garden was North facing and the lawn was always water logged. Sometimes, it is the best option.
Add nutrients to your soil
Without a doubt, fertilisers contain the nutrients that your plants need to grow. They’re also readily available and can be purchased easily which makes them convenient. However, fertilisers come with a number of disadvantages which make them not-so-ideal for your garden.
For starters, fertilisers in general are made from chemical compounds which means that they’re not organic. In excessive amounts, fertilisers can also cause an overload of nutrients which is not healthy for your plants. Lastly, they can upset the microbial balance in the soil and more importantly, there’s a risk that these chemicals may find their way into groundwater.
Instead of chemical fertilisers, you should consider using compost instead. It’s not as readily available as fertilisers since it takes time to make. However, it’s a very small price to pay compared to all the benefits your garden will get out of it.
Composting organic waste can reduce the need for water, fertilisers, and pesticides — all while reducing your carbon footprint. It’s 100% organic which is good not only for your plants but for the soil as well. Additionally, compost helps plants fight against pests and diseases.
Specifically, get started in sowing long-growing seeds. These are the ones that take longer to grow compared to others. Aubergines, begonias, geraniums, and peppers belong to this group. As such, you need to make sure that you plant them as early as January and as late as February.
If a vegetable garden is your fancy, veggies such as beetroot, spinach, kale, carrots, and Brussels sprouts are perfect for the spring season.
At the same time, get your summer-flowering bulbs planted as early as now. This is done to make sure they reach their full potential when summer sets in. It’s always best to start planting as early in the year as possible. Not doing so will make it more difficult for you because the ground begins to harden as the temperature becomes warmer.
Prune any winter flowers that you have in your garden so they won’t ruin how your garden looks during spring. It’s also beneficial to them since it will encourage new growth. The same thing should be done to bushes or climbing roses as well.
Install water butts
Water butts are great for collecting and storing rainwater through your guttering systems. Households have found many uses for water butts, but mainly, it supplies the much-needed water to your garden. It’s also worth noting that some plants like rhododendrons, blueberries, and camellias don’t like tap water due to its alkaline content which makes rainwater a great alternative.
Collecting and using rainwater for the plants in your garden also means that you’re helping conserve water which is good for the environment. It also helps you financially since the water that you’re using is free. The financial gain from using water butts may not appear after a few years though, but it’s definitely there.
Water butts come in a variety of shapes, designs, sizes, and prices. Installing water butts in your garden is so easy to do that you can even do it yourself!
Mulching refers to placing a protective and potentially nutritional barrier around your plants to improve the health and appearance of your garden. It’s not mandatory which means you can opt not to do it. However, your garden will benefit a lot from mulching.
It conserves water for your plants to use by trapping in moisture. It also helps the plant roots to keep cool, feeds the soil, and takes care of weeds by smothering them. If it’s your first time applying mulch, make sure that you wait for the soil to warm and dry up a bit.
Things are indeed looking very busy for your garden this season. But as long as you’re dedicated to and passionate about your garden, these tasks shouldn’t be too hard to do. I’m a little daunted, I have to admit, with all the work that needs doing but I also love the results! Take your time and concentrate on one thing at a time and all the little jobs you need to do will get done. I love my garden and look forward to sharing lots with you soon.
Don’t forget….#mygloriousgardens will be back in March for all your lovely gardening posts. In the meantime, happy Spring gardening!
A blog about my life in The Old House, a mum to teenagers, a primary school teacher and my passion for gardening.