Top tips to get your garden looking fresh and vibrant for Spring
Many of the Spring team love to garden and we regularly share photos, gardening tips and experiences to help one another out. Whether you are a novice or have magic green fingers when it comes to gardening, a few handy hints and tips never goes amiss.
Gardening and the positive impact it has on our ecosystems, wildlife and the environment are widely publicised, but the benefits of gardening stretch much further than just the planet. Gardening is therapeutic and a pleasant distraction from todays hectic lifestyle. It's good for the soul, not only in terms of exercise but also for mental health and well-being, with UK Mental Health Charity,Mind, highlighting some key attribute's gardening can help:
reduce feelings of stress or anger
help you take time out and feel more relaxed
improve your physical health
improve your confidence and self-esteem
help you be more active
help you make new connections
provide peer support.
The mental health benefits of gardening are wide and diverse, and as we now say goodbye to dark evenings and gloomy winter, we are all looking forward to heading outside and getting our hands dirty.
So, to get your garden in tip-top shape, and you feeling happy and healthy, here’s our top 10 gardening tips to spruce up you garden this weekend:
Gardening is all about preparation, so put on your gloves and remove all weeds that have sprouted up over winter. Look at what needs pruning too around your garden and trim off any old growth from last year. It’s a good time now in early Spring to trim any deciduous grasses and herbaceous perennials. Top tip: don’t throw your weeds on a compost heap as they will grow in your compost and cause you a headache when you come to spread the compost later in the year.
Grass may have become bald and patchy over winter, so rake off any leaves and debris, so you can clearly see the state of your lawn. April is a great time to re-seed, so if you need to do this, firstly prep the balding area by raking the grass, this will help any fertiliser and seed penetrate the ground better increasing its chance of successful growth. Choose a seed that is suitable for those using the garden, ie: if kids play football on the grass, then use a more hard wearing variety.
Any garden can get an instant facelift with a lick of paint on your fences. Fences frame a garden, so it's important to get them looking smart and fresh. Make sure none of the wood is rotting, if so, replace it, then get to work on prepping the panels. Remove old flaky paint and give a light sand if needed before you apply your chosen colour. There are hundreds of shades to choose from, so maybe pick a shade to complement other tones in the garden, or the walls of your property.
As with fences, garden furniture also needs to be maintained and given some TLC if it's looking tired after spending the winter months outside. Check for any rotten wood, loose screws and fixings, giving them all a tighten before any painting is recommended. Furniture paint is a great way to add a splash of colour to make your seating area stand out, plus you can accessorise with soft cushions, throws and blankets for extra colour, comfort and cosiness. Just make sure you have some storage in your garden to keep any cushions and accessories you buy when they are not in use, to stop them from getting wet when it rains.
Wash and wipe
Jet washing your paving slabs can transform a dull patio. It’s time consuming, but the reward is worth it as it can bring a gloomy area back to life. For sprucing up your decking, get yourself a stiff bristled brush to lift off any residue from fallen leaves and be sure to remove stubborn grubby patches and mildew before you get to work on applying any new top coat. Check the weather forecast for the next few days and try and do this job during a dry spell to give the wood a chance to dry off before applying your treatment, paint or wood preservative.
Don’t waste water
Water is an expensive commodity when it comes to gardening, both in terms of finance and the environment. So, to help your bank balance and the planet in one go, get yourself a water butt. A decent 100 litre kit can start from around £30 and comes with everything you need. Find a good place to install your water butt, either under a downpipe from your shed, garage or property, but if you don’t have an open downpipe, you can buy a diverter which you can attach to the downpipe to siphon water off into the water butt. There are lots of helpfulguides online to follow to get you up and running.
If you have room, having a compost heap is a great addition to any garden. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy, a simple structure built from off cuts of wood will work just as well as anything you buy from the shops. Throw on all your grass cuttings, veggie peelings and kitchen waste, plus anything you prune off your trees and bushes. Just don’t put any weeds on your compost pile as they will then grow back more aggressively when you finally come to spread your compost. Your compost will need aerating each month, so turning it with a fork or spade will help the organic matter to break down, producing a much richer and nutritious compost.
Empty your shed, give it a good brush and clear out anything you don’t need. Sheds are guilty of housing stacks of blunt, unused or dirty tools, so look at what you actually use, then give them all a good clean to prevent bacteria spreading when you begin pruning. Get blunt tools sharpened and follow with a spray of WD40 on the moving parts to prolong life. Also, look at getting your lawnmower serviced, as a sharpened mower blade will give a much superior cut to your grass.
Banish the bugs
There are many annoying pests that can pray on plants, shrubs and vegetables, so trying to get rid of them now in Spring, before the summer season sets in, is a good idea. Check for snails and slugs, also keep a close eye out for vine weevils and their larvae, as unwelcome visitors can be easily controlled by hand removal or organic solutions when caught early. You can even use a home-made garlic spray solution to fight off slugs and there are many resistant vegetables you can plant to help prevent attacks,Gardeners World has a helpful guide.
Plant your pots
You don’t need to spend a fortune on expensive plants and shrubs to add a splash of colour to your garden. Big or small, a few well-placed pots, window boxes or hanging baskets can transform a garden into a beautiful oasis of colour. Look at what direction your garden faces, this will then help you determine the best varieties of plants and flowers to grow that need shade or sun. Don’t be afraid to experiment with colour, variety and size to create depth and interest in your pots. Give the pots regular water and feed to keep them looking their best and encourage growth year after year.These are just a few jobs you can be getting on with to get you back into the garden and help keep you happy, healthy and busy this Spring. You don’t have to break the bank, with many of the jobs, it's good old fashioned elbow grease and a few trips to the local recycling centre to tidy up that will make the most difference. Enjoy.← RETURN to BLOG/STORIES
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