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Eight spring gardening tips to get your outdoor space ready for summer

Now's the time to get in the garden if you want your outdoor space to fully flourish in summer. ISTOCK

Eight spring gardening tips to get your outdoor space ready for summer

As The Beatles song goes, it's been a long cold lonely winter - and your garden knows it. Here are eight springtime tips to get your outdoor space ready for the sun.

Eight spring gardening tips to get your outdoor space ready for summer

Clear up and clear out

The first step to a fully refreshed garden is a comprehensive sweep of the detritus and weeds that have no doubt left things in a mess over winter.

Get rid of any surface debris – leaves, branches, moudly panels of wood – before you set about a weeding mission.

Make sure you get right down to the roots so that they don’t grow back – and do so with a decent pair of gloves to rid anything sharp and sinister lurking below.

This is also the best time to see if your garden tools are in working order. Perhaps they need sharpening, cleaning or demand a new set altogether.

The steps that follow will certainly call for a good set of garden utensils.

Give your grass strength

Next, revitalise your lawn by using a garden fork to aerate the grass.

Use a weed killer to eliminate broadleaf weeds and any bindii.

A few weeks later, give you grass a secondary kick-start with some lawn fertiliser so that it can outmuscle any competing new weeds as it grows.

Lush summer lawns are made in spring. ISTOCK

Lush summer lawns are made in spring. ISTOCK

During this time the soil will start getting warmer so it’s important that your grass is happy and strong (and able to fend off those pesky weeds) before the heat of summer starts to bear down.

Give your soil new life

The next step in getting your garden back in shape is to tend to your ever-warming soil.

It’s likely to be rather compact following the winter months so now is a good time to get things moving again with the help of organic matter like compost or manure.

If needed, and depending on your environmental consciousness levels, you may also decide to add fertilizer to boost your soil’s health.

Trim old plants

Prune any trees and shrubs that have survived the winter and remove any leaves that have withered through the chillier months.

Trimming your hedges will also encourage new growth going into summer.

As a general rule, plants that bloom in summer need to be pruned in early spring, so don’t delay.

Add mulch

Mulch is a layer of material applied to the surface of soil.

This is advised because mulch promotes conservation of soil moisture, improves fertility and soil health, maintains temperature, while also limiting weed growth.

One to three inches of mulch should be enough.

Ensure a gap of a few inches between plant stems and the mulch layer to prevent the risk of roots rotting.

Plant new flowers and shrubs

Now that your soil has been fully revitalised, it’s time to start really bringing your garden back to life with the addition of new plants, flowers, shrubs and herbs.

It will pay to do some research on the plants you envision for your garden, but now that you have done the groundwork (literally) you can enjoy a well-deserved trip to the garden centre.

Watch out for pests

As the weather warms up aphids will start getting interested in any fresh plantings, particularly the vegetable patch if you have one, or on the new growth of some plants such as roses.

Psyllids can also rear their heads and should be controlled straight away to prevent their spread.

Invest in a garden insecticide to keep them in check.

Accessorise

Remember, your garden is part of your home, so consider what other objects and furnishings will help you enjoy spending time in your outdoor space.

Solar uplights that dig straight into the soil can be rather nice additions to any garden-fringe flower beds, as are outdoor fairy lights for fences and trellises. 

In any garden centre there is all manner of extra accessories and furniture designed to distract us, so think about what finishing touches will give your garden some extra livability.

Read more:
Five amazing health benefits of gardening
Hidden benefits of gardening
Planting positive outcomes
Are you suffering from asthma? Plant a tree

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