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Spring To Do List

You’ve probably been eyeing up your garden all March, but with the weather remaining chilly and often stormy it’s been difficult to get out there. Now that the clocks have sprung forward, and the weather is getting brighter and warmer, it’s time to get yourself out there and get gardening.

Before you go, though, it’s best to approach with a plan, or you won’t get anywhere near as much done as you want to. Here’s a jump-start for your Spring garden to-do list.

Weeding

Weeding

Preferably you’ve been keeping on top of weeds already by mulching your soil. If so, now is the time to check around the garden and replace any mulch that’s rotted away or starting to look bad. If you haven’t, now is the time to add mulch to the garden to help suppress weeds.

In either case, before mulching you should make sure no weeds have already made it into the soil, and remove the roots of any that have. Once you’re fully weeded, out, add the new layer of mulch and move on.

Pruning & Deadheading

Deadheading

This time of year is best for pruning your shrubs, to encourage new growth in the areas you want and stop them from overgrowing and getting out of control.

Your spring flowering shrubs have probably begun to show some growth by now – wait until they fully bloom before pruning.

Your summer growing shrubs will still be somewhat dormant, and pruning these is best done now before they start to grow.

While you’re at it, you can also be deadheading any plants that have started to flower. Getting rid of old, dying flowers will encourage the plant to put more energy into new buds as well as remaining strong and healthy by not having to support dead weight.

Fertilise

Fertiliser

Once growth starts on any plant, it’s time to get it fertilised. Make sure you have plenty in stock ready to apply as soon as necessary – this will be an ongoing task as new growth starts throughout your garden.

By now, the earliest spring bulbs, like Daffodils, have already been and gone. Other flowers are still finding their new growth though. Make sure these get the attention they need as they come up.

Don’t forget to fertilise your trees and shrubs as they start showing growth as well, and your lawn if it wants and needs it.

Plant Seeds and Bulbs for Summer

Bulbs

April is still a little too cold to be planting delicate summer plants. Many of these should wait until after the last frost, which is likely to be early to mid-May for most of England. Seeds can be prepared indoors, however, and if you have the space and desire to do so, now is definitely the time to start.

Some hardier summer seeds can be sown outside already, if you have a way of keeping them safe and warm until the weather gets warmer. Otherwise, it’s best to wait until early May or start them off inside with the rest.

Plant, Divide and Transplant Perennials

Transporting Perenials

Now is the best time to divide your summer flowering perennials, while they’re still somewhat dormant but about to burst into growth. Depending on what you’re trying to do with your garden, you might need to spend a little more work on this.

If you’re still establishing a new garden you might be looking to divide your perennials in order to even them out and get a good spread. If that’s the case, divide as many as you can, establishing good distance and layout with as many plants as possible.

If all you’re doing is maintaining your garden, then only the plants which threaten to become overgrown will need dividing. Hopefully you already have an idea for which these are, but if not scout your garden for some of the bushier looking growths and prepare to divide these. If you don’t need the spares, give them to friends who are still looking for new plants, or kill the roots and add them to the compost.

If you don’t have perennials in the garden at all, then now is the time to plant them. Get them from friends who are dividing their spares, or visit your local garden centre for a good selection of flowers to plant.

Plant Fruit Trees

Fruit Trees

Spring is the best time to plant your fruit trees, if you’ve been planning on planting one. If you’ve got one in a pot and ready to go, plant it now. Otherwise, wait until you’ve got the time to plant before you go out and get one, to make sure it gets into the ground as soon as possible.

Repair Damage to Fences, Decks and Patios

Fixing a Fence

Often overlooked, plants aren’t the only parts of your garden that need more attention come spring. Winter weather can cause a lot of damage to garden structures, such as your fences, decks and patios.

The beginning of spring, while the sun’s out but the weather’s still cold, is the best time to take care of some of this damage. It’s garden work that doesn’t worry too much about timing or biological processes, but still gets you outside.

Scrub the decks before anything starts to grow there, and handle weeds in the patio before they get out of control. Fences that need repainting will benefit from a sunny day to dry off, just make sure the forecast isn’t predicting rain while the paint’s still wet.

 

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