Ten Tips for Spring Garden Maintenance
With outdoor temperatures creeping up, you may want to make the most of sunny days with some spring garden maintenance. You may be starting to plan for blue skies and long sunny days sitting in the garden, taking in the view. We have compiled a few spring gardening tips that we hope will help you to get the garden of your leisure home in shape.
- Keep on top of weeding
You will notice how weeds take full advantage as the weather warms. Regular weeding at this time of year can help you to avoid it becoming an overwhelming task.
- Prepare your beds
Winter rain can wash out the nutrients from your soil. Think about digging in some new top soil with a good fertiliser or mulching with compost. Top-up soil should be dug in to about five centimetres. This will give your plants a good base for the rest of the year.
- Sow vegetables in early to mid-April.
If you have a small vegetable plot or raised bed next to your leisure home, you can start planning this year’s harvest. Cool-season vegetables like potatoes, artichokes, peas and some lettuces, germinate best in cool soil, so think about planting them in early spring once the soil has thawed. They should be ready to harvest by early summer.
Vegetables to plant outside:
Outside, you can safely sow beetroot, carrots, swiss chard, summer cauliflower, kohl rabi, lettuce, radishes, turnips, spring onions, shallots, peas and spinach.
Vegetables to plant indoors or in a greenhouse:
More tender vegetables such as aubergines, broccoli (calabrese), chard, celery, okra, peppers, squashes, pumpkins and tomatoes can be sewn early and placed on a windowsill indoors or in a greenhouse. You should be able to plant these out in the garden in late spring/early summer, when the weather is warmer.
- Be aware of late frost
Depending on where you live in the UK, frost can return as late as April. If late frosts are forecast, then use cloches or horticultural fleeces to protect your tender plants or precious seedlings.
- Take care of your potted plants
Plants in containers are often favoured by leisure home owners as they make excellent adornments for decking areas or small gardens.
Spring bulbs are great for growing in containers because they can be replanted each year. Herbs such as parsley, basil and thyme can be placed near the kitchen door for easy access.
Perennials and even small shrubs and trees can be grown in containers, but species choice is important so make sure you do your research before you buy.
Using the right soil or compost for container plants is important. This varies depending on the type of plant but most perennials thrive in a peat-free compost mixed with grit or sand to improve drainage.
- Support perennials before the growing season
Spring is a good time to push some well-placed, supporting stakes into the ground ready to prop up larger plants before rapid growth starts and before you risk damaging them by doing it later. It is also a good time to divide overcrowded perennials. This can help to invigorate them and increase flowering. It’s easy way to fill in any empty spots in your beds for free. You can also share the fruits of your beautiful garden with friends.
- Sow sunflowers
If you haven’t grown one before there can be a real joy in a sunflower. Now is the time to think about sowing some. Next to your leisure home is a good place, as they can be trained up the sides of decking or external walls as they grow taller.
- Sow and repair lawns
Winter conditions can be punishing on lawns. Think about reviving them so you get a good even coverage by summer. Use a spring fertilizer for lawns once snow has melted and frosts have ended. Repair dead patches with new seed or turf. Revive weak lawns by dethatching and aerating.
- Trees, shrubs and hedges
Early spring is a good time to consider removing old mulch and refreshing it with new mulch around trees and shrubs. You will need an even coverage that is not too deep so that the top surface is not moved around by wind and rain. You will want to avoid mulching too deep as this can incubate disease that can harm your trees and shrubs. You may also want to think about treating your hedges to a slow-release fertiliser. They usually respond well to this. Get ready with the clippers for summer. Only start trimming your hedges after chicks of nesting birds have grown into fledglings. This way you can avoid scaring the parents away from their dependent chicks.
Winter and early spring is the time to trim fruit trees such as apples and pears. Do this before buds begin to break into bloom or you’ll stress the tree and just get a tiny crop (or possibly none) this year. It’s also a good time for you to prune summer-flowering trees and shrubs, just before they push out new growth.
Fruit trees such as plums and cherries should be pruned in early summer when the sap starts rising to reduce the risk of disease.
Here are some more targets for your secateurs:
- Prune roses and buddleja
- Prune wisteria and train over arbours and trellises.
- Remove and clean up dead, broken or diseased branches of trees and shrubs
We will look into spring maintenance for your garden hardware, decking, paths and the like next time. For now, you can give your garden furniture a wash down and dry, sit back and enjoy the fruits of your hard work. We hope these tips help you enjoy pottering around in the garden of your leisure home.
This is a marketing article from My Holiday Home Insurance, a specialist provider of insurance for holiday homes, leisure homes, holiday lodges and static caravans. Our team of experienced advisers are always happy to help, so for more information call our Northampton office on freephone 0800 988 0890.