It’s time to welcome in the British Summer Time! OK, so that’s one less hour in bed on a Sunday morning, but it’s more than made up for with the gift of an extra hour’s daylight in the evening.
Winter is, more often than not, a case of battling the elements and never more so than earlier this year when the UK’s gardens (and fences… and roofs!) were tested by the mighty Storm Doris. But you’ll probably have noticed in the last few weeks that the first signs of spring are starting to appear.
So put that extra hour of daylight in the evenings to good use and make sure that you’ve laid the groundwork for a blooming summer garden with our top tips for quick spring gardening.
Top jobs you can do quickly
- Spruce up your garden by tidying away the last of the fallen leaves and getting rid of any weeds. The work you do now tidying up your garden will give it a clean, blank canvas to fill with beautiful colours and lush foliage in the months to come.
- Prep your soil by mulching or composting to fill it with nutrients before the start of the growing season. If it’s workable, dig down to at least 5cm and work in the best fertiliser you can get your hands on to really feed the soil and give your plants everything they need to grow happy and healthy.
- Get your plant supports in place by early Spring around end-March / April time, before the first shoots start to show; that way your plants will grow up through them. Trying to wrestle plant supports into place afterwards is not only awkward, it can leave your garden looking a little scruffy with the supports exposed, rather than neatly covered. Supports not only give your plants an anchor, but guide them where to grow, which keeps your garden neat and tidy. Peonies, hyrdrangeas and delphiniums are typical candidates. Expect them to cost you around £5-£15 depending on the size and type, but typically ones like these conical rings will do the job.
- Don’t be afraid to give some plants, such as roses or early-flowering Clematis, a pre-summer prune to give new shoots a chance to grow. It’s also a good time to cut back any remaining dead foliage – you can find a good list of what and how to cut back here. Just don’t forget to wear a pair of sturdy gardening gloves for the task to avoid cuts and scrapes from sharp twigs or thorns.
Tending to your own garden can not only be relaxing but also immensely satisfying when you see the fruits of your work quite literally bloom. While you might like carrying out the smaller jobs, for bigger jobs (or even bigger gardens for that matter) you might save yourself a lot of time, trouble and expense by getting in a pro gardener.
Things to bear in mind when hiring a pro:
• Look for good ratings and reviews from other homeowners and make sure to question them so you’re confident they know their stuff. All gardeners registered with us have their own individual profile pages where homeowners who have posted a job through us can leave them a review. A good gardener will take into account things like gutters and drainage, being able to see the overall picture and not just the job in hand.
• Have an idea of what works for you before contacting gardeners: are you the seriously green-fingered type who’s likely – or able – to spend a lot of time maintaining your garden, or will you need plants and flowers that won’t need so much attention?
• Check whether any quotes for the work include waste disposal, and if not, know where you stand with your local council taking it away.
• Talk to your gardener throughout the lifecycle of the job. Discuss whether you’d like any features such as stones, bird-feeders or ornaments, and ask for their recommendations on what would work well in your garden for your size and budget. Bear in mind the lifecycle of your garden and plan for the year ahead to keep it looking nice all year round. Even if winter seems a long time away, it’s worth considering evergreen plants and seasonal flowers now. If you’d like some advice before you hire a professional, you can ask one of our registered gardeners a question in our Ask an expert section.