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21 March 2019
It seems like winter has only just begun but before you know it Spring will be upon us. It’s the season where things start to grow again. We’re almost out of the rain, frozen ground and bare trees and close to entering the season of fresh flowers, new baby animals and longer sunlight. Getting back into gardening after the cold season is wonderful and ensuring that you’re ready and prepared for the new growing season is important. Here are 10 ways you can prepare your garden for the Spring.
The winter brings lots of grime, leaves and mud with it. Spring seedlings do best in soil that drains well so be sure to make a clean and prepared space for your new plants. Remember to put the cleared material into the compost to ensure nutrient rich compost for your new season. Clean up your Victorian greenhouse. Make sure you deep clean the glass as winter bugs and disease can hide in the smallest cracks and corners. Clean up any debris and basically make your greenhouse as good as new so it’s ready for the influx of new spring seedlings.
Take advantage of dry weather to fix any broken trellises or fencing in your garden. In early spring there’s less growth to work around and less chance of disturbing any roots. Setting new fences however is best to wait until the rain season has stopped, as ground that is too damp will just create potholes filled with water.
Install water butt
The beginning of spring is usually a very wet season and installing a water butt is great for both the planet and your plants. Water from the tap is usually very alkaline and spring soil actually does better with a slightly more acidic PH. Be sure to place your water butt under a drain pipe to maximize the water you collect.
Plants and Vegetables
In early spring crops such as peas, spinach and lettuces can be sown and harvested. However, for a prolonged harvest, vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, radishes, kale, turnips, new potatoes and onions have a longer growth rate.
The damp weather in early spring brings with it all kinds of creepy crawlies. If slugs are a problem in your area, be sure to monitor young seedlings for damage and hand-pick as the pests emerge. When clearing last year’s pots of summer bedding, be on the look-out for the white vine weevil larvae, which live in the compost and feed on plant roots.
Protect from frosts
Despite it now being spring, the weather in our country is very unpredictable. Sometimes it even snows in March. Early spring plants are vulnerable to hard frost. If you expect a hard frost to come, cover the seedlings with anything you can spare. A cardboard box or flower pot with a stone on top can sometimes be enough to protect them.
Get a head start
It’s easy to just plant as the seasons come but this way you do miss out on the longer growing fruits and vegetables. Heat loving vegetables like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and basil take a longer time to grow, so planting this in trays and keeping them in your lean-to greenhouse or by a sunny window can get you ahead of the curve.
It’s best to prune your fruit trees at the end of winter or beginning of spring. Prune well before the buds start to grow to avoid any stress on the tree creating reduced crops. Thin out some branches of trees that have a history of leaf spot diseases. Pruning improves air circulation and penetration of sunlight, minimizing the chance of disease.
Clean gardening tools
It is something that seems so simple and yet most of us forget. Give your tools a spring clean and a sharpen. Well maintained tools not only last longer but also help prevent the spread of disease. Dirty tools can introduce fungi and bacteria to fresh pruning wounds.
Be prepared to cover your cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, and cauliflower plantings with row covers or barrier paper to protect your crops from cabbage moth eggs.
If you found this blog helpful, please check out our blog page for other informative articles and guides, including choosing the best summer house for your garden.
Posted by Matt Jordan