lifestyle

10 jobs to do now to get your garden ready for spring


It won’t take long to have a gorgeous outdoor space to relax or entertain in (Picture: Getty)

The weather is surprisingly nice right now for February, giving us all a bit of hope we might see daylight before or after our WFH schedules.

This year, spring starts on March 20, which gives you a few weeks to level up your outdoor space ready for jugs of Pimm’s, reading in the sunshine, and making the most of our spaces before lockdown ends.

Whether you have a small balcony or a sprawling estate, getting to these jobs now will lessen the load once the season does change.

Once the plants have bloomed and the taps are aff, you’ll have nothing to do but relax.

Get planting

Lily bulbs and dahlia tubers are just two of many which, when planted now, will flower in the summer.

There are also a number of hardy perennials – such as lupins and geraniums – that can be placed in your garden from an established plant in late February or March.

You save yourself the trouble of waiting for growth, but get yourself a lovely flower display.

Garden centres are still open in lockdown three, so your best bet is to note down where is sunny or shady in your garden, potentially take a picture so you remember your layout, then ask a member of staff what’s best to plant now.

Don’t be afraid of a little prune

While planting now is perfect for getting new blooms, the ones you already have still need to be kept up with.

The RHS recommends pruning roses, and deadheading pansies or other winter bedding plants.

They also recommend cutting back deciduous ornamental grasses and pot-grown fuchsias to promote new growth.

Wash your patio

If you have a fancy steam cleaner, getting rid of the worst of the winter mud will be a breeze.

For those without a jet washer, cream cleaner and a broom should leave your patio tiles sparkling (well, as much as stone can).

Stop weeds from flourishing

This is the best time to dig up perennial weeds, as this will help stop them growing throughout the rest of the year.

Use a regular shovel to dig out the root, and give the soil a once-over regularly with a hoe to keep future weed seedlings at bay.

Use manure or compost on the top of your freshly-disturbed soil to prevent weeds in future.

Consider growing your own veg

If you’re growing from seed, March is a great time to plant beetroot, broad beans, salads and Swiss chard, artichokes, strawberries, and asparagus.

If it’s warm and seems like it will be for some time, carrots, peas, spinach, and radishes can also be planted.

On the other hand, if you’re not ready to grow from seed, buying young plants online (or at garden centres when they’re open) and planting them now could be an easier option that bears you fruit and veg in no time.

Edge your lawn

To really mark out your beds and paths from your lawn, a half-moon edging tool or some edging sheers will work wonders.

After your usual mow, cut the grass that’s sticking out at the side, following the original curve of the lawn.

It’s the final touch that’ll make your garden look tidy and neat.

Stain your decking

For those who have decking, a spell of dry weather – but when it’s not too hot – is a chance to get it stained or painted.

Avoid doing this if you got your decking treated (or bought it) less than six months ago. Otherwise you’re good to go.

The way you do this will depend on the product you choose, so always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Clean your garden furniture

If your garden furniture has been sitting gathering dust for months, you want it looking clean before you use it (or have guests, which will soon be a thing again).

Ryan Schwarze, Head of Luxury Rattan recommends waiting for a dry sunny day to clean, so your furniture has the right conditions to dry.

He says: ‘If you find there is dirt trapped in the weave of the rattan, grab a toothbrush to loosen it, you should then be able to wipe or vacuum it away with ease.’

From there, you can fill a bowl with water and washing-up liquid and clean with a soft cloth.

If your covers need a refresh, Ryan recommends putting them in the wash if the label says that’s suitable. If not, he says: ‘Use warm water with your mild detergent of choice to spot clean non-removable cushion covers. A soft scrubber is preferred to work the stain away before cleaning with a damp cloth.’

His top tip for older rattan furniture is to rub olive oil onto the furniture using a soft cloth, reducing cracking and adding shine.

Add bug boxes or other wildlife havens

Hardened gardeners are often worried about bugs, but the RHS states that not all insects are created equal.

They recommend bug boxes to encourage spiders, ladybugs, and other insects into your garden. These can be made using wood and bamboo canes, or bought from garden centres and hardware stores.

Emptying your mower, leaving the grass to dry in the sun, then putting this in piles in shady spots can also attract queen bees or even worms to nest there.

To keep your garden as diverse as possible, go for plants that bees love, and leave out bird food and water for hedgehogs.

Finish off with accessories

The garden is made by the extras you put in it, with people choosing accessories. to show their individuality off just like they do in their homes.

British interior designer Benji Lewis from Zoom That Room recommends ‘zoning’ the garden into relaxing spaces and an area for dining.

He says: ’ Don’t forget the importance of the scene you’re setting as a whole. The dining area can be a collapsible table and two chairs for a small area or a longer table with chairs if you have a bigger space.’

 Benji add that your garden should be thought of as an extension of your home when it comes to interior design.   

‘Plants add colour and vibrancy to your table, potted geraniums or lavender are perfect for that rustic setting in the English countryside,’ he says.

‘For a formal setting why not use three matched, mirror cube pots evenly spaced down a rectangular table?  I’d recommend succulents that can have a more contained leaf formation.

‘These extra touches really brighten up your outdoor table arrangement.”  

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Get in touch at MetroLifestyleTeam@metro.co.uk.


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