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Gardening Tips: Spring Garden Care

By 11th April 2016The Gardens
Wynyard Hall Walled Garden

Spring has finally sprung! After what always feels like a long winter’s hibernation, the green shoots are shooting and the blossom is blossoming. As you can imagine our gardeners are raring to go. We thought you’d appreciate a quick spring guide to gorgeous gardens, a run-down of the essential tasks to tackle now for wonderful summer splendour.

Essential spring tasks for a stunning garden

Your first job is to simply stand outdoors with the springtime sunshine warming your skin and survey your garden. This time of year it’s easy to spot essential tasks. Do any of your trees need trimming back, are branches overhanging your home or outbuildings? How about messy leftover perennial foliage?

Alternative compost heaps

Even if your garden isn’t big enough for a compost heap, you can spread small-scale garden waste like twigs and leaves under bushes and shrubs and in ‘out of the way’ areas, where they’ll soon rot down to beautiful, rich compost. It’s a wildlife-friendly way to dispose of garden waste too, creating the perfect mulchy home for all manner of fascinating creatures.

Be prepared with tool repair and planting plans

Take a look at your tools and replace or repair damaged ones (our Farm Shop is filled with lots of lovely Burgon and Ball gardening accessories). And – the best fun of all – spend time planning which annuals to add to your outdoor space for spring and summer colour. If you can make your planting wildlife-friendly, even better. Our native wildlife needs all the help it can get, and bee and insect-friendly flowers are popular at the moment.

Ideas for the perfect lawn

You might not be able to mow your lawn yet. It’s still very damp and you may damage the grass if you try to give it a haircut too early. When you do mow, set your lawnmower so it leaves the grass a decent length. This will help attract wildlife.

Love your weeds

Weeds (although considered unsightly by most) can also be good for wildlife. The more frequently you mow your lawn, the smaller and neater the weeds get, a bit like bonsai, and they still flower. A lawn including native plants is often much more tolerant of extreme weather conditions like flood and drought.

Thin and trim your summer-blooming shrubs, things like butterfly bush, hydrangea and willow. Prepare new beds with a lovely generous layer of rich mulch. And get rid of any unwanted weeds. Having said that, one man’s weed is another’s native plant, and many of the native species we call weeds are actually very beautiful as well as beneficial to local wildlife.  Incorporate them if you can.

Once you’ve done all that, you’re ready to go. Here are our top ten tips for spring gardening.

 

10 top spring gardening tips

  1. This is the perfect time of year to think about design, because you can see the bare bones of your garden. Can you make improvements?
  2. If your garden looks depressing in winter because everything loses its leaves, think about adding evergreen plants that will look fabulous all year round and provide colour even in the depths of the winter. If you create the core of your garden design in evergreens, it’ll always look beautiful.
  3. You need to protect those delicate new shoots from slugs and snails. There are all sorts of ways to do it, including copper tape and organic slug pellets, and the best solution tends to depend on your garden. Some gardeners even plant the things slugs love, to keep them away from the rest.
  4. Now is the perfect time to plant out delicious shallots, onions and new potatoes.
  5. Choose, buy and plant your summer-flowering bulbs now, to give them a good start in life and guarantee a splendid display. And lift / divide your perennials.
  6. If your garden pond is prone to blanket weed, start treating it now so the weed doesn’t get the chance to take over.
  7. Top dress outdoor planters with a layer of fresh compost, and re-pot any pot-bound specimens before they wake up properly.
  8. If you can’t tolerate weeds, get rid of them before they take hold too firmly.
  9. Let the air circulate through your greenhouse on warm days, and do the same if you have a conservatory.
  10. Dirty feeders breed disease. Clean out bird feeders and water bowls. The birds will be nesting soon, and they’ll appreciate clean food and water.

Visit our blog again soon for summer gardening tips, fresh from Wynyard Hall!