Seven tips for giving your garden a spring clean

The frost has thawed, birds are starting to tweet and early bulbs are peeking their heads… spring is in the air and that means your garden is awakening! So grab your gardening gloves and dust off your pruners, we’re giving you tips on how to show your garden some TLC.

1. Carry out basic maintenance

As we edge closer to the warmer months, you’ll want your back garden looking it’s best for all your outdoor get-togethers with family and friends. Begin your garden tidy-up by repairing or cleaning any patio furniture, ornaments and pots.

Don’t forget to clean your wooden decking or stonework, too. If you have a pressure washer you can avoid the manual work of using a scrubbing brush. A pressure washer is relatively easy to use and will get rid of any algae or moss that may have grown on your decking over the winter months. Not sure where to start? Watch the video below for useful tips on how to use a pressure washer. 

2. Remove garden waste

If the winter weather hasn’t been kind to your garden, you may find lots of debris covering your lawn, such as fallen branches and sticks. These can be taken to your local waste recycling site, which you can search for here: https://www.gov.uk/recycling-collections

If you can’t dispose of the garden waste yourself, you can arrange for collection, too. Find out more at: https://www.gov.uk/garden-waste-disposal

It’s also a good idea to rake away dead leaves and twigs from your lawn, so that the grass can absorb sunlight. Instead of heading to your local recycling centre, the most environmentally friendly way to get rid of leaves is to compost, so they can be turned into usable plant food. Composting is easy when you know how, just watch this handy video to get started.

3. Show your soil some love

Without healthy soil your garden won’t blossom into a spring haven. To bring your soil back to life, start by clearing any weeds using a pitchfork and rake. Then you’ll want to fertilise the soil. If you have your own compost, mix this with the soil and keep adding over the course of a few weeks. If you haven’t started composting yet, you can buy compost or manure from your local gardening centre. Again, wait a few weeks for the nutrients to mix well with your soil, before you start planting.

4. Prune plants and shrubs

After months of neglect, your shrubs and plants may be looking overgrown and uncared for. Renovate them by carefully pruning and shaping their branches and stems. It's good to do this each year to make foliage grow back stronger and improve flowering. Learn how to prune your plants with this easy-to-follow how to video.

Different shrubs will require different renovation, find out what's best for the plants in your garden at: Dynamic Link..

5. Prep your garden tools

It’s important to consider the tools you’ll be using for your garden spring clean. Make sure you clean your tools with soap and water before getting stuck in, and understand what tools you should be using for each job. When pruning for example, try using secateurs for smaller shrubbery and for thicker plants use loppers.

If you want to get a head start on the growing season, it’s not too late for you to sow seeds indoors. Starting plants from seeds is not only cost-effective but it allows you to enjoy watching new life grow! Depending on the plant, you’ll need small containers and pots for your seeds to grow in, as well as enough space and light in your home. 

For a step-by-step guide (in pictures) on how to sow seeds indoors, head to:

http://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/grow-plants/how-to-sow-seeds-indoors2/

Once the seeds have grown into young plants and the weather outside is warmer, it’s time for them to be planted in your garden.

Before you start planting, it’ll be useful to work out which areas of your garden and flowerbeds are most ideal for your plants. For example, if your garden has a lot of shade, make sure you choose shade-tolerant plants for these spots and that taller plants don’t block the sun from shorter ones. If you have any questions when considering which plants to buy, your local garden centre will be on hand for any planting recommendations. It’s also a handy idea to check the dates of any new purchases, so you know when to get planting! 

6. Start seed sowing

If you want to get a head start on the growing season, it’s not too late for you to sow seeds indoors. Starting plants from seeds is not only cost-effective but it allows you to enjoy watching new life grow! Depending on the plant, you’ll need small containers and pots for your seeds to grow in, as well as enough space and light in your home. 

For a step-by-step guide (in pictures) on how to sow seeds indoors, head to:

http://www.gardenersworld.com/how-to/grow-plants/how-to-sow-seeds-indoors2/

Once the seeds have grown into young plants and the weather outside is warmer, it’s time for them to be planted in your garden.

7. Make a plan for planting

Before you start planting, it’ll be useful to work out which areas of your garden and flowerbeds are most ideal for your plants. For example, if your garden has a lot of shade, make sure you choose shade-tolerant plants for these spots and that taller plants don’t block the sun from shorter ones. If you have any questions when considering which plants to buy, your local garden centre will be on hand for any planting recommendations. It’s also a handy idea to check the dates of any new purchases, so you know when to get planting! 

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