The complete guide to gardening in spring

It’s time to say goodbye to the bleakness of winter and make way for the vibrant blooms, colourful shrubs and luscious greenery of spring

removing weeds
The sun is shining but what does that mean for your garden?

There is so much that can be done in the garden for spring – you could say it’s the start of the gardening season. The days are longer, the temperature perks up a bit and it’s the time of year when we start to see the birth of new blooms, regrowth on trees and shrubs and grass begins to shine again. But with so much to do, where do we start? Here’s some tips to get you back on track in the garden.

Staffordshire living magazine

1. Prepping

First things first, you need to work from the ground up. If you have protected your garden with mulch over the winter, now’s the time to start raking it up to clear your garden ready for new growth. If there are any signs of weeds, seek them out and clear your soil.

You can begin to design the look of your garden too, while breathing new life into your older perennials, by splitting overgrowth and moving bits to barer areas of your garden. These types of plants tend to have a better bloom when they are not compacted in one space together.

Don’t be tempted to do too much at once though, says LIVING’s gardening guru, Anita Wright: “On a warm sunny afternoon it’s tempting to get out into the garden,” she says, “but don’t start too early. As the soil warms, all those self-set seeds start to germinate, and it’s easy to lose lots of free plants. Carefully walk around the garden and dig up what looks like a seedling, even if you are not quite sure, then plant into moist compost in a pot – you may have a wonderful new treasure in the end, but if it turns out to be a weed then nothing is lost.”

gardening purple flowers
Set the groundwork for beautiful summer blooms

2. Pruning

Now is the time to set to work on pruning your trees and shrubs to encourage strong and healthy regrowth. Don’t forget to give a little attention to your summer blooming shrubs either. Cutting back plants like roses, as well as fruit trees, will help you to keep your garden under control, help you to grow spectacular buds, and also bring you juicy fresh produce for salads in summer. If you don’t have fruit trees in your garden, you can choose to purchase one from your local garden centre now. Nurture it and it should bring you joy in the next few months.

3. Planting

Planting trees and shrubs can create pleasant shaded areas in your garden, as well as adding appeal and value to your home. Be careful not to plant too deeply though, it’s fine to bed them in just below the surface of your soil.

It’s also the time to plant cool-season annuals, like pansies and violas, as they can withstand the cold and should give you a lovely early show in the garden.

“If you are buying forced, ready-planted bulbs, it’s best to water them well by standing in a dish or bowl of water,” says Anita. “These bulbs are often extremely dry and appreciate a good drink. Don’t plant them out if the ground is frozen or snow is forecast, which can still happen in early spring, these bulbs are usually forced but enjoy being inside and grouped together in a large bowl, with a little moss over the top, if that’s not possible, then short pieces of evergreen foliage can look very attractive too!”

4. How about inside?

While it’s all going on outside, you can still enjoy a little colour inside your home too, says Anita. “Bring in sprays of Forsythia and Japanese Cherry (Prunus Serrulata) – these wonderful, sweet-smelling, early flowering shrubs have swollen buds that will burst into flower quickly in a warm room. One of my favourites is the Witch Hazel. I have three different varieties in my home, all with heavenly scents, like a Spring morning. If you are not lucky enough to own any of these shrubs or small trees, some can be purchased from a good florist and well worth the little extra as they last for weeks.”

Get in touch with Anita on anitawright1@yahoo.co.uk

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