Its normally only the keenest of gardeners that are prepared for spring and even they can get caught out with the sudden flurry of activity that is required for the start of the gardening season. One day there is a covering of snow or at least a few frosts to push spring further from our thoughts, then a few days of sunshine and all changes.
Bulbs start flowering as do early shrubs, perennials start to poke through and the lawn starts to grow. Welcome to Spring Gardening.
The section full of spring gardening ideas is to make you aware of the impending tasks that ought to be at least started. Make most of your garden for spring and beyond, for much of what you do now in this spring season, will determine how the garden will look for the rest of the year.
For instance, if you delay the first cut of the lawn or leave it too late, it could take months for it to start looking right after the first scalping! The first sunny weekend is not always the best time to see if the mower works, or needs sharpening! To make matters worse, you will probably have to wait your turn as the mower man tries to keep up with the lengthening list of gardeners with wonky mowers!
Spring in the garden is a great time for motivation and to start getting ideas about the garden, and possibly lay out a few plans to follow up; little bit more colour needed in one place; the unsightly view on show whilst there is no foliage to screen in the winter; determination to grow some fruit or try some vegetables; sow some seeds; thoughts about container gardening: As well as all that invigorating stuff, gardening in spring is a good time to start 'the new you'!
All that for the future, but there are also many essential gardening jobs that need tackling to keep on top of, which will enable you to enjoy your gardening more maybe even get time to relax in it!
Fruit growing in the average garden, is probably one of the biggest gardening Taboos! There are several reasons for this. The main one seems to be that growing 'fruit' is difficult and requires a lot of time and knowledge! If those are your main worries that have stopped you from attempting to grow fruit, then your worries are over! Growing fruit in its various forms, requires no more knowledge than growing any other plant successfully.
Bunch of Carrots
There has never been more incentive to grow some if not all of your own vegetables as at the present time. Environmental and economic conditions - and yes - a hankering for the 'good life' all add up to good reasons to Grow your Own vegetables! Most important, is the part that vegetables (should) play in our diet general health. All animal life depends upon the eating of vegetation. Even carnivores have to eat fellow animals who feed on vegetation!
First and foremost is to sort out any problems that have materialised during the winter months, when perhaps tha garden was furthest from your thoughts. A basic clear-up will include cutting all the dead bit of shrubs and trees before the leaves start to appear hiding the dead stuff.
The perennials which were not cut back in the autumn or winter can be attended to now with most being cut back to ground level not the evergreen perennials of course.
When foraging about in the borders and beds, be aware of the spring bulbs which have already started to show through. So easy to trample them and spoil the emerging flower buds. Herbaceous perennials will also be starting to move into action. They probably beat you to it in preparing for the spring.
Lawns Spring Lawn Care The lawn - and a well cared for lawn - is normally the main backdrop for most ornamental gardens. Its appearance is important aesthetically and its well-being is even more so for a family lawn.
The First Cut
The spring season is an important time for getting your lawn into top shape for the following months. What you do now in the spring by way of lawn care, will determine how well your lawn will cope with the wear and tear of day to day use, and also its ability to withstand drought or even water-logging during the summer months.
Bulbs Spring is the time to enjoy all the early flowering bulbs that do so much to brighten and motivate our gardening lives. Spring is also the time to be buying and planting some summer flowering bulbs. They sell out quite quickly at the garden centre - don't leave it too late!
Lililum Red Night
Does your garden look ragged and dispirited by June, when spring-flowering bulbs have finished blooming? Extend your bulb season with summer-flowering bulbs! Summer bulbs will provide the scent and colour to revitalize your garden, and mix beautifully with your existing perennials and shrubs.
Ixia ‘Mabel’, for instance, grows 12-20 inches tall and smothers itself in hot-pink blooms in early summer. Ixia ‘Tita’ has masses of soft apricot-pink shading to warm red-pink. Both are equally attractive in containers or borders, or even planted along a garden path between groundcover plants.
Garden Ponds The pond will almost certainly need a bit of maintenance by way of clearing out winter debris and maybe getting it ready for new plant - and fish. Cleaning the Pond is a good time to inspect for any pond leaks that might be draining life away.
Pond Cleaning and Maintenance
General maintenance is fairly minimal if carried out regularly and the pond need not be emptied every year, unless it has been neglected.
After a number of years, however, silt and debris will gradually accumulate on the floor of the pond, which may lead to pollution, causing both the plants and the fish to suffer. Leaks may also occur as a result of frost damage, ground subsidence or even deterioration through age, and these must be repaired as soon as they are spotted.
Pond Leaks and Spilage
Pond Leaks are not always what they seem to be!
There are several reasons why ponds 'lose' water without there necessarily being an actual structural leak. These should all be investigated before the lengthy - and messy - process of leak repairs gets underway. If you can eliminate the following, then - and only then - your should prepare for repairing a leak in your pond.
Climbers Most Climbing Plants are best planted in the spring months - Many new varieties will be on sale and climbing plants will be one of the most popular areas of the outdoor garden centre - often being the first to sell out!
Wisteria in Bloom
Climbing Plants can give added height to gardens small and large, without taking up too much ground space. Vertical gardening at its best.
Climbing plants are so versatile - climbing by way of twining and hugging, clawing and thorns, suckering and rooting, and some just flopping everywhere until they find support to start their climb. Not all climbers are invasive or adventurous. Some are dainty!
They an be found for all situations in the garden, shaded, or sunny, damp or dry, evergreen or flowering - sometimes evergreen and flowering. Some climbers need space, some are happy indoors, some are better suited to walls than fences and vise versa. Many can be grown in containers, and some can even be grown as groundcover plants. Most are shrubs or perennials. A few are annuals.
Pruning - Whilst it is tempting to cut off all that bare wood on the shrubs - check first to make sure that you know what you are doing. You really don't want to lose all the early summer flowering shrubs colour by pruning now. Our pruning calendar might be a good starting point.
A Pruned Buddleja
When to Prune Shrubs - Pruning Calendar for shrubs.
Without doubt, the factor that affects shrubs more than any other is the actual timing of pruning operation. There is certainly a best time when you should prune shrubs and trees - in particular if flowering excellence is high on your list. Prune at the right time, and you will get flowers when due; pruning at the wrong time often means no flowers!
Our pruning calendar set out below - month by month - gives the low down on when is the best time to prune shrubs and trees in the garden.
Seed Sowing - Try your hand at raising a few plants from seed, but an early trip to the garden centre is advised for the most popular varieties soon sell out.
Dandelion Seed Head
Get this part of the procedure of growing seeds and you are more likely to succeed than fail. It is in the actual sowing of the seeds that most attempts at seed growing falter or even fail altogether. There is no one method of growing all seeds, for all seeds are different. However there are enough similarities with several groupings to be able to adopt a standard procedure for most seed – with variations. Surface sowing seeds.
Seed packets give a wealth of information, but there is nothing that will compensate for care and experience. Many follow what is written on the seed packets yet still fail. As with many things gardening, it is not what is written, but what is not written that leads to success or failure.