Spring is just around the corner, the days are getting longer, the air warmer and the garden is starting to look like it’s in dire need of its annual spring clean. Now is a great time to get out doors and assess the situation, the canvas is still pretty blank which means a fully reccy is easy to do. Here’s a guide to some top tips for getting the garden shipshape.
Seed stock take
Take a good look at what seeds you’ve got from previous years – check their best before date and condition – now is a great time to throw out old packets and ensure that good stock is filed and stored well. Well labelled storage boxes are a good way to ensure longevity of stocks – ensure they are in kept in a dark, dry space. Some avid gardeners will also employ a filing system, with all seeds kept under their corresponding ‘sowing’ month.
Service garden tools
All garden tools will benefit from an annual service – shears and secateurs sharpened and oiled, handles checked on hoes and spades, and string, pools and posts cleaned off and bundled. Good tools are not cheap and should last a long time, but they need to be looked after, which means regular maintenance and good storage out of the harsh elements of the weather.
When the first lovely evening rears it’s much anticipated head, the garden furniture needs to be ready – which means getting it out early in the year and assessing the situation. Any wooden furniture should be given a good coat of oil, plastic items checked for stability and strength and any replacements sourced.
Preparing the beds
Digging and tidying for the vegetable beds is a good place to start – use some blood and bones or well rotted manure to improve the quality of the soil and plan your crop rotation, early opportunities already exist for sweet peas, broad beans and some late cropping winter veg. Pruning trees and shrubs in the very late winter means that fresh cuts are only exposed for a short time, before spring re-growth begins.
Tending the lawn
The harsh winter weather has played havoc with many lawns, now is the time to spend some time and effort in renovating and repairing. Raking up leaves and debris is important, whilst patch repairs can be made on damaged areas of lawn – if possible use established patches rather than new sod, invest in some good feed and get out the mower for a high crop to encourage growth.
Published for The Range