How to get your garden ready for summer

With spring in the air and (fingers crossed!) sunny days ahead, now's the time to get your garden ready for summer, so start work on creating a brilliant garden today with these handy tips:

1. Order summer-flowering bulbs

If you want your pineapple lilies or dahlias to blossom beautifully this summer, it's important to plant your summer-flowering bulbs in spring. The time to get your summer bulbs in the ground is when the soil has dried out and warmed up - about 60°F (15.5°C) or more. And to give your summer bulbs every chance to grow, add compost or manure to the soil. If you want to give your bulbs a head start, pot them up a month or two before it’s time for them to grow outdoors.

2. Clean up your flower beds and borders

To make a well kept garden, it's essential you have clean and sharp lines between the lawn and the plant or flower areas. This is possible with an edger tool or half-mooned spade, as both can be used to dig shallow channels along the edge of the garden. Keeping them straight needn't be difficult, just attach some pegs to a long piece of string and hammer them into the ground as a guide.

3. Remove those garden pests

Weeds are every gardeners worst enemy. They get everywhere, and to get rid of them you'll need small handled tools like trowels to get to them. However, trowels won't do much good against bigger weeds with deeper roots. For that job you're better off with a hoe which can dig up the weed or cultivate your soil before a weed even gets the chance to grow. Want another option? Consider weed killer. But be warned, this stuff should only be used where there's dense weed growth as it can affect the growth of your plants.

4. Install a water butt

Great for helping you save on your water bills and beat any hosepipe bans, a water butt will ensure your plants get water whenever they need it. Butts can be easily attached to your house, shed, garage - basically anything that has a gutter and a downpipe. Get one installed and you can expect to store up to 24,000 litres a year of rainwater.

5. Clean your gardening tools

Your gardening tools are there to craft your garden and tackle the elements, and that's dirty business.

6. And before you begin...

Check all your green-fingered essentials are covered. At Swinton, your garden shed and tools are protected under your home insurance policy.

Find out more about Home Insurance from Swinton...

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