As autumn makes way for spring, and the weather finally starts to improve, many of us will venture into our gardens with trepidation to see what work needs doing after the long winter months. Below are a few tips that will help to get your garden ready for the warmer summer weather ahead.
If you have any trees in your garden, there’s a good chance that winter storms will have pruned off a few branches and twigs. Collect these up from paved areas and take special care to remove them from lawns, as they can damage your mower’s blades. A lawn rake will help you to locate twigs that are hidden in amongst the grass. Rake and sweep up dead leaves, cut off dead foliage and remove all dead annuals. If you don’t have a compost bin, then look for a corner of the garden where one could be subtly positioned. You’ll not only feel good about recycling garden and kitchen waste, but also have a free source of nutrients for the garden. However, weeds should go in the recycling bin or on the bonfire to prevent them from re-growing.
Remove the crop of weeds have recently burst through the soil, taking care to dig out the roots to prevent them from reappearing. Dig in organic matter, such as manure, to give your plants nutrients for the growing season. If that seems like too much effort then consider applying a mulch, such as compost or fertiliser, which will gradually rot into the soil over time. Bark chippings can approve the appearance of the soil and have the added benefit of averting new weed growth and preventing the soil from drying out.
If gaps have appeared where plants have died off, take a visit to your local garden centre. There you’ll find a good selection of plants to fill these spaces, and you can also seek the advice of an expert to find plants that are not only suitable for your garden but will also bring colour and beauty to it throughout the summer.
Now’s the time to get the lawn mower out of the shed and give the grass its first cut of the season. As your mower hasn’t been used for a few months, give it a good brush down and do a visual check for any potential issues. It’s also a good time to get the blades sharpened by a garden machinery specialist so that you get a good, clean cut. For the first few mows, remember to set the blades back to their highest position to give your grass a good start to the growing season. You can then lower them gradually over the next few weeks.
New patches of moss and weeds will no doubt have appeared amongst the grass, so now’s a good time to apply a treatment that will kill these off whilst feeding the lawn at the same time. Again, your local garden centre can advise on which product to buy. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions, which will include raking the grass sometime after the treatment to remove dead moss and weeds. This will probably leave your lawn looking a little patchy, so keep some grass seed to hand to fill in these bare areas. Following this treatment it would be good to apply a feed to encourage healthy growth throughout the whole lawn.
If the very thought of such maintenance makes you consider swapping the lawn for a paved area, why not consider fake grass instead? It requires little maintenance and certainly needs no mowing! With advances in technology, today’s artificial lawns are far, far closer in appearance to real grass compared to the unnaturally bright green plastic lawns of years gone by. Not convinced? Then see for yourself by requesting free artificial grass samples from Lawrence Lawns.
Hedges and Shrubs
During springtime, hedges and shrubs will start to grow more vigorously. Trim them back early before they get too big and out of shape. However, if there are any nesting birds in the hedge then it would be good to hold back until the chicks have fledged.
Shed and Fencing Maintenance
Your shed and fencing might be looking a little tired and neglected at this time of year. You may notice patches of green algae on the wood if it’s been a very wet winter. Wearing a dust mask, use a stiff brush to remove the algae along with any other debris. If the wood is dry you can then apply a new coat of stain to protect it and give the garden a fresh new look. Or you could change the colour completely by applying a garden paint, although this may need reapplying sooner than a wood stain.
Check the felting on the shed roof for tears or holes and make any repairs as soon as possible to prevent water ingress. Also, check the inside of the shed to make sure that nothing has been damaged by the likes of water leaks, sun bleaching or vermin.
A garden should be a place that friends and family can enjoy together, a haven of peace and relaxation. But all gardens, whatever size, require care and maintenance. So, schedule the time earlier in the year, be prepared to put in the work, and then look forward to relaxing in your beautiful garden during those warm summer months. You’ll be glad you made the effort.